Cage-like crystal packing through metallocavitands within a cobalt cluster-based supramolecular assembly†
A cobalt (Co) supramolecular triple-stranded helicate, [Co8(PDA)6(Br-PTA)3(DMF)4(H2O)2] (1) (PDA = 2,6-pyridinedicarboxylate, Br-PTA = 5-bromoisophthalate, DMF = dimethylformamide), is successfully synthesized and fully characterized. The solid-state structure of 1 shows that four cobalt atoms are coordinated by three PDA ligands to form a tetranuclear cobalt cluster with three extension points and the ditopic Br-PTA ligands interlink two basic assembly units. In crystal packing, the bromo group is surrounded by the cavity-like tetranuclear cobalt cluster, which acts as a metallocavitand, to generate a unique cage-like crystal packing geometry. The isomorphous molecular cage, which exhibits a similar crystal-packing geometry as observed in 1, is also successfully isolated. This is an unusual example of a highly symmetric cage-like crystal packing architecture, resulting from the interaction among metallocavitands of in situ generated supramolecular modules.