Effects of the Number and Placement of Positive Charges on Viologen–Cucurbit[n]uril Interactions

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Recent developments in the synthesis and applications of the cucurbit[n]uril family of synthetic hosts has led to an increasing interest in the detailed studies of their interactions with a wide variety of guests. This paper describes a quantitative study of the effects of the number and placement of positive charges on the binding of viologen guests to cucurbit[7]uril and cucurbit[8]uril. A series of viologen derivatives with one to four charges was characterised by isothermal titration calorimetry, 1H NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry to determine the stoichiometry, affinity and mode of binding. These data show that stoichiometry can be controlled by the placement of charge, and that affinity can be increased by the addition of positive charges. This study should serve as a guide for the design of supramolecular structures built from viologens and cucurbit[n]urils.

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Supramolecular Chemistry

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