Supramolecular chemistry under mechanochemical conditions: a small molecule template generated and integrated into a molecular-to-supramolecular and back-to-molecular cascade reaction†
We describe the integration of a small-molecule hydrogen-bond-donor template into a cascade reaction that is comprised of a combination of molecular and supramolecular events. The cascade is performed mechanochemically and in the presence of μL amounts of water. The small-molecule template is generated (molecular) using water-assisted vortex grinding and is then used to assemble an alkene (supramolecular) to undergo an intermolecular [2 + 2] photodimerization reaction (molecular). The chemical cascade results in a cyclobutane photoproduct that we show serves as a building block of a hydrogen-bonded network with a topology that conforms to T-silica. Remarkably, the molecular–supramolecular–molecular chemical cascade occurs stepwise and entirely regioselectively within the continuous mechanochemical conditions employed.