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Issue 10, 2010
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Anion recognition by hydrogen bonding: urea-based receptors

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Since 1992 a variety of urea-based anion receptors have been synthesised, of varying complexity and sophistication. This critical review will focus on some distinctive aspects of anion recognition by urea derivatives, with a special reference to: (i) design and synthesis, (ii) methodologies for the investigation of the receptor–anion interaction in solution, (iii) the interpretation of the solution behaviour on the basis of the structural interplay between the receptor and the anion. It will be shown that the efficiency of urea as a receptor subunit depends on the presence of two proximate polarised N–H fragments, capable (i) of chelating a spherical anion or (ii) of donating two parallel H-bonds to the oxygen atoms of a carboxylate or of an inorganic oxoanion, a property which is shared with other diamides, e.g. squaramide. The wide use of urea in the design of neutral anion receptors seems to depends on the ease of its synthesis, in particular through the reaction of a primary amine group with an isocyanate, which allows the high-yield preparation of symmetrically and unsymmetrically substituted derivatives (83 references).

Graphical abstract: Anion recognition by hydrogen bonding: urea-based receptors

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Publication details

The article was received on 10 May 2010 and first published on 01 Sep 2010

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/B822552B
Citation: Chem. Soc. Rev., 2010,39, 3889-3915

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    Anion recognition by hydrogen bonding: urea-based receptors

    V. Amendola, L. Fabbrizzi and L. Mosca, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2010, 39, 3889
    DOI: 10.1039/B822552B

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