Issue 45, 2023

Conformational control enables boroxine-to-boronate cage metamorphosis


The discovery of molecular organic cages (MOCs) is inhibited by the limited organic-chemical space of the building blocks designed to fulfill strict geometric requirements for efficient assembly. Using intramolecular attractive or repulsive non-covalent interactions to control the conformation of flexible systems can effectively augment the variety of building blocks, ultimately facilitating the exploration of new MOCs. In this study, we introduce a set of boronic acid tripods that were designed using rational design principles. Conformational control was induced by extending the tripod's arms by a 2,3-dimethylbenzene unit, leading to the efficient formation of a tetrapodal nanometer-sized boroxine cage. The new building block's versatility was demonstrated by performing cage metamorphosis upon adding an aromatic tetraol. This led to a quantitative boroxine-to-boronate transformation and a topological shift from tetrahedral to trigonal bipyramidal.

Graphical abstract: Conformational control enables boroxine-to-boronate cage metamorphosis

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Article information

Article type
Edge Article
07 Jun 2023
05 Oct 2023
First published
05 Oct 2023
This article is Open Access

All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry
Creative Commons BY license

Chem. Sci., 2023,14, 12953-12960

Conformational control enables boroxine-to-boronate cage metamorphosis

M. Rondelli, S. Delgado-Hernández, A. H. Daranas and T. Martín, Chem. Sci., 2023, 14, 12953 DOI: 10.1039/D3SC02920D

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