Supramolecular catalyst functions in catalytic amount: cucurbituril accelerates the photodimerization of Brooker’s merocyanine
Supramolecular catalysis aims to modulate chemical reactions on both selectivity and rate by taking advantage of supramolecular chemistry. However, due to the effect of product inhibition, supramolecular catalysts are usually added in stoichiometric amounts. Herein, we report a supramolecular catalysis system in which 1% of the supramolecular catalyst, cucurbituril, is able to significantly accelerate the photodimerization of Brooker’s merocyanine. This catalytic process is realized in a cyclic manner because the photodimerized product can be spontaneously replaced by monomeric reactants via competitive host–guest complexation. Thus, a catalytic amount of cucurbituril is sufficient to accomplish photodimerization within 10 min. This line of research will enrich the field of supramolecular catalysis and allow the development of more efficient catalytic systems.
- This article is part of the themed collections: ISACS21: Challenges in Nanoscience and International Symposium on Macrocyclic & Supramolecular Chemistry (ISMSC) in conjunction with ISACS