To catalyze or not to catalyze: elucidation of the subtle differences between the hexameric capsules of pyrogallolarene and resorcinarene†
The closely related, self-assembled resorcinarene and pyrogallolarene capsules display contrasting and puzzling encapsulation behaviors. Herein, we elucidate the reasons for these differences by combining experimental studies and DFT calculations. Furthermore, we report that, in contrast to the resorcinarene capsule, the pyrogallolarene derivative is not capable of catalyzing reactions with cationic transition states. The molecular mechanisms responsible for these observations are probed in detail.