Imine-based catenanes in water†
We report the efficient condensation of imine-based macrocycles from dialdehyde A and aliphatic diamines Bn in pure water. Within the libraries, we identified a family of homologous amphiphilic catenanes, whose self-assembly is primarily driven by the hydrophobic effect. The length and odd-even character of the diamine alkyl linker dictate both the yield and the conformation of the catenanes, whose particular thermodynamic stability further shifts the overall equilibrium in favour of imine condensation. These findings highlight the role played by solvophobic effects in the self-assembly of complex architectures.