Exploiting recognition-mediated assembly and reactivity in rotaxane formation†
A small molecular reaction network exploits recognition-mediated reactive processes in order to drive the assembly and formation of both a self-replicating linear template (thread) and a rotaxane, in which the linear template is encircled by a diamide macrocycle. Complementary recognition sites, placed at strategic positions on the reactive building blocks, drive these assembly and replication processes. Template-instructed experiments show that the thread is capable of efficient self-replication and that no cross-catalytic relationships exist between the thread and the rotaxane. The rate of rotaxane formation is insensitive to the addition of a preformed template, however, rotaxane formation does show enhanced diastereoselectivity, most likely originating from its recognition-mediated formation through a ternary reactive complex.