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Issue 34, 2010
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Five thermodynamic describers for addressing serendipity in the self-assembly of polynuclear complexes in solution

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Abstract

The thermodynamic self-assembly of any metallo-supramolecular complex [MpmLpn] in solution can be dissected into five additive free energy contributions. According to a hierarchical energetic order, the two microscopic describers finter and fintra, which refer to the hetero-component metal–ligand connections, bring the main driving forces to the complexation process. Combined with the statistical factor ω of the self-assembly, which measures the changes in intrinsic rotational entropies accompanying the complexation process, these three parameters provide a satisfying description of the statistical binding leading to [MpmLpn] in solution. Deviations from statistics, i.e. cooperativity, has then two different origins. Firstly, the preorganization controlling the intramolecular connection events may vary along the assembly process, thus affecting fintra. Secondly, the homo-component interactions brought by the specific location of the different components in the final assembly (M⋯M interactions: ΔEM,M, and LL interactions: ΔEL,L), may additionally contribute to the total free energy change and affect finter. Beyond the determination of quantitative experimental values for these five parameters operating in various metal-containing assemblies, considerable efforts have been focused on their physico–chemical origins, with the ultimate goal of unravelling their chemical design. In this Feature Article, the bases are first considered leading to the emergence of the free additive thermodynamic model in metallo-supramolecular chemistry. A tutorial discussion of the current level of understanding of each microscopic thermodynamic describer follows, together with some selected practical applications in the field of polynuclear d-block and f-block complexes.

Graphical abstract: Five thermodynamic describers for addressing serendipity in the self-assembly of polynuclear complexes in solution

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Publication details

The article was received on 07 Apr 2010, accepted on 28 May 2010 and first published on 07 Jul 2010


Article type: Feature Article
DOI: 10.1039/C0CC00811G
Citation: Chem. Commun., 2010,46, 6209-6231
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    Five thermodynamic describers for addressing serendipity in the self-assembly of polynuclear complexes in solution

    C. Piguet, Chem. Commun., 2010, 46, 6209
    DOI: 10.1039/C0CC00811G

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