Via selective 1,3-distal intramolecular Cannizzaro disproportionation of an easily available cone-triformylcalixarene, an inherently chiral trifunctional cone-calixarene derivative has been prepared. The presence of three different functional groups (–CH2OH, –CHO and –COOH) at the upper rim of the calixarene scaffold makes this compound a versatile intermediate for the development of multifunctional devices. Interesting chiral discrimination of serine derivatives has been observed, presumably thanks to a multipoint-interaction involving the reversible imine bond formation and the hydrogen bonding of the hydroxyl group of the amino acid side-chain with the upper rim functional groups. Consistently, chiral discrimination was not observed with alanine and valine derivatives, lacking hydrogen bonding groups on the side-chain.
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