Pillarpyridinium: a square-shaped molecular box†
Numerous applications of Stoddart's ‘blue-box’, a pyridinium containing macrocycle of rectangular shape, encouraged us to seek successors of this amazing molecule. Using a one-step cyclization reaction we synthesized a square-shaped cyclic tetramer consisting of 4-methylenepyridinium units – pillarpyridinium (PP). Pillarpyridinium is a quadruply positively charged water-soluble macrocycle with a highly symmetric, strained structure and an electron-deficient cavity. These features impel the macrocycle to assemble into channel networks in the solid state and render it an effective fluoride receptor in water.