Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 22, 2012
Previous Article Next Article

From linking of metal-oxide building blocks in a dynamic library to giant clusters with unique properties and towards adaptive chemistry

Author affiliations

Abstract

Following Nature's lessons, today chemists can cross the boundary of the small molecule world to construct multifunctional and highly complex molecular nano-objects up to protein size and even cell-like nanosystems showing responsive sensing. Impressive examples emerge from studies of the solutions of some oxoanions of the early transition metals especially under reducing conditions which enable the controlled linking of metal-oxide building blocks. The latter are available from constitutional dynamic libraries, thus providing the option to generate multifunctional unique nanoscale molecular systems with exquisite architectures, which even opens the way towards adaptive and evolutive (Darwinian) chemistry. The present review presents the first comprehensive report of current knowledge (including synthesis aspects not discussed before) regarding the related giant metal-oxide clusters mainly of the type {Mo57M′6} (M′ = FeIII, VIV) (torus structure), {M72M′30} (M = Mo, M′ = VIV, CrIII, FeIII, MoV), {M72Mo60} (M = Mo, W) (Keplerates), {Mo154}, {Mo176}, {Mo248} (“big wheels”), and {Mo368} (“blue lemon”) – all having the important transferable pentagonal {(M)M5} groups in common. These discoveries expanded the frontiers of inorganic chemistry to the mesoscopic world, while there is probably no collection of discrete inorganic compounds which offers such a versatile chemistry and the option to study new phenomena of interdisciplinary interest. The variety of different properties of the sphere- and wheel-type metal-oxide-based clusters can directly be related to their unique architectures: The spherical Keplerate-type capsules having 20 crown-ether-type pores and tunable internal functionalities allow the investigation of confined matter as well as that of sphere-surface-supramolecular and encapsulation chemistry – including related new aspects of the biologically important hydrophobic effects – but also of nanoscale ion transport and separation. The wheel-type molybdenum-oxide clusters exhibiting complex landscapes do not only have well-defined reaction sites but also show unprecedented adaptability regarding the integration of various kinds of matter. Applications in different fields, e.g. in materials science and catalysis including those in small spaces, investigated by several groups, are discussed while possible directions for future work are outlined.

Graphical abstract: From linking of metal-oxide building blocks in a dynamic library to giant clusters with unique properties and towards adaptive chemistry

Back to tab navigation

Publication details

The article was received on 02 May 2012 and first published on 05 Sep 2012


Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35169B
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012,41, 7431-7463
  •   Request permissions

    From linking of metal-oxide building blocks in a dynamic library to giant clusters with unique properties and towards adaptive chemistry

    A. Müller and P. Gouzerh, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2012, 41, 7431
    DOI: 10.1039/C2CS35169B

Search articles by author

Spotlight

Advertisements