A photoswitchable strapped calixpyrrole receptor: highly effective chloride binding and release†
A stiff-stilbene strapped calixpyrrole receptor can be reversibly switched by light between a strong chloride-binding Z-isomer and a very weakly binding E-isomer. The light-induced switching process is monitored by UV-Vis and 1H NMR spectroscopy and chloride binding is studied in detail using both 1H NMR and ITC titrations in DMSO and MeCN. In DMSO, at millimolar concentrations, switching from a fully bound to an almost fully unbound state can be triggered. Quantification of the binding constants in MeCN reveals an extraordinary 8000-fold affinity difference between the Z- and E-isomer. Single crystal X-ray crystallographic analysis gives insight into the structure of the photogenerated E-isomer and the geometry of the chloride-bound receptors is optimized by DFT calculations. The highly effective control of binding affinity demonstrated in this work opens up new prospects for on demand binding and release in extractions and photocontrol of membrane transport processes, among other applications.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2021 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection