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Issue 6, 2009
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Phosphines as building blocks in coordination-based self-assembly

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Although phosphines have been less widely investigated in coordination self-assembly than have N- and O-donor ligands, interesting and unusual chemistry has been observed from their study in this context. This includes the selective formation of large rings, unsaturated as well as complete coordination cages, solvent- and anion-dependent aggregation, in addition to ring-opening polymerisation to give crystalline or non-crystalline coordination polymers. Important aspects which underpin this chemistry include (i) soft donor character, (ii) pyramidal geometry at the donor atom, (iii) highly bulky and irregular shapes, (iv) the applicability of 31P NMR spectroscopy, and (v) their relevance to organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis. In this critical review, findings which precede the concept of self-assembly as adopted by synthetic chemists as well as the latest ‘supramolecular’ chemistry of phosphines are discussed together in an attempt to give the current state of the topic in its historical context. Finally, some aspects and opportunities which may be of interest in the future are suggested (107 references).

Graphical abstract: Phosphines as building blocks in coordination-based self-assembly

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Mar 2009 and first published on 16 Apr 2009

Article type: Critical Review
DOI: 10.1039/B814096K
Chem. Soc. Rev., 2009,38, 1744-1758

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    Phosphines as building blocks in coordination-based self-assembly

    S. L. James, Chem. Soc. Rev., 2009, 38, 1744
    DOI: 10.1039/B814096K

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