Light-regulating chirality of metallacages featuring dithienylethene switches†
Dynamic chiral superstructures are of vital importance for understanding the organization and function of chirality in biological systems. However, achieving high conversion efficiency for photoswitches in nanoconfined architectures remains challenging but fascinating. Herein, we report a series of dynamic chiral photoswitches based on supramolecular metallacages through the coordination-driven self-assembly of dithienylethene (DTE) units and octahedral zinc ions, thereby successfully achieving an ultrahigh photoconversion yield of 91.3% in nanosized cavities with a stepwise isomerization mechanism. Interestingly, the chiral inequality phenomenon is observed in metallacages, resulting from the intrinsic photoresponsive chirality in the closed form of the dithienylethene unit. Upon hierarchical organization, we establish a dynamic chiral system at the supramolecular level, featuring chiral transfer, amplification, induction, and manipulation. This study provides an intriguing idea to simplify and understand chiral science.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2023 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection