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In this tutorial review the use of macrocyclic complexes as building blocks in a selection of supramolecular systems is discussed with emphasis on the properties, such as enhanced stabilities, that cyclic ligands and their complexes may impart on the resulting assemblies. An aim of the review is to exemplify the versatility of macrocyclic ligand complexes for use as components in a range of both discrete and polymeric systems. The use of macrocyclic systems for controlling CuI aggregation, as scaffolds for metal-cluster formation, as the cyclic components in interlocked catenane and rotaxane structures, for constructing assemblies based on macrocycle exo-coordination, for forming columnar stacks, as well as their roles as both structural and redox centres in a range of coordination polymer types are all presented.
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