Hydrogen bonded interactions are among the most important non-covalent interactions in supramolecular chemistry. The strength, selectivity and directionality inherent in hydrogen bonding processes have allowed the creation of complex and efficient molecular hosts capable of selective binding to a wide variety of complementary guests. Major advances in controlling host–guest complexation have occurred in the last decade, principally through systematic modification of the electrostatic properties and/or geometry of the hosts, thereby fine-tuning the molecular recognition event. More recently, systems have been developed which allow the effectiveness and selectively of hydrogen bonding interactions to be reversibly modulated by an external stimulus, more accurately mimicking biological systems and providing building blocks for the construction of novel advanced materials, sensors and devices. In this review, we highlight some of the methods available for modulating the strength
and selectivity of hydrogen bonded interactions in synthetic host–guest systems.
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