Self-assembly of a “Cationic-Cage” via formation of Ag-carbene bonds followed by imine condensation
A new strategy for the synthesis of a “Cationic-Cage” (CC-Ag) has been developed via metal-carbene (M−CNHC) bond formation followed by imine bond condensation. Reaction of a trigonal trisimidazolium salt H3L(PF6)3 functionalized with three flexible N-phenyl-aldehyde pendants with silver oxide yielded a trinuclear tricationic organometallic cage (OC-Ag). Subsequent treatment of the organometallic cage (OC-Ag) with 1,4-diaminobutane links the two tris-NHC ligands via imine bond condensation, which thereby generates a 3D ‘cationic-cage’ (CC-Ag). Furthermore, post-synthetic replacement of the Ag(I) by Au(I) leading to the formation of CC-Au was achieved via trans-metalation with the retention of the molecular architecture.