Possible effects of fluxionality of a cavitand on its catalytic activity through confinement
The discovery of fullerenes was a huge milestone in the scientific community, and with it came the urge to discover and analyze various small and large atomic and molecular clusters having a cavity. These cavitands of varied shapes and sizes have wide applications in the encapsulation of rare gas atoms to induce bond formation between them, storage of hydrogen and hydrocarbons to be used as alternative sources of fuel, catalyzation of otherwise slow reactions without using a catalyst, activation of small gas molecules, etc. Various cavitands like fullerenes, [ExBox]4+, cucurbit[n]urils, borospherenes, octa acid, etc. have been used for this purpose. Some clusters including cavitands exhibit fluxional behaviour. Systems in a confined environment often manifest interesting variations in their properties and behaviour, compared to their unconfined counterparts, facilitating the aforementioned applications. In this perspective article, we explore the possibility of making use of this extra degree of freedom, viz., the fluxionality, in changing the catalytic activity of the cavitand.
- This article is part of the themed collection: PCCP Perspectives