Université de Strasbourg

Catalysis inside molecular capsules

Towards catalysis inside molecular capsules

USIAS Fellow: Dominique Matt

This project is an attempt to built, for the first time, effective carbon-carbon bond forming catalyts having the metal centre located inside an accessible capsule. The targeted capsular catalysts are based on bidentate ligands that contain two hemispherically-shaped calix[4]arene subunits linked by rigid spacers. In our approach, capsule formation relies on a metal-programmed synthesis: it is expected that upon metal chelation the two calixarene fragments face each other so as to form a capsule. By opposing the bidentate ligands to metal ions with two cis-orienting binding sites, the complexation process should result in a metallo-cavitand in which the metal centre is positioned inside the capsule rather than outside. Catalytic reactions taking place in a confined environment are expected to result in both shape-selective and highly stable catalysts.

France 2030