The transport of ions across molecular cages that mimic the behavior of bio-membranes has been of wide interest to researchers,
but the synthesis of cage or capsular entities with ion transport properties is often challenging. A variety of molecular building
blocks, such as calixarenes or cavitands, has been employed to study encapsulation and ion-transport properties. Recently, we have studied
the transport of ions into the interior of gallium-containing pyrogallolarene nanoassemblies, and the results of those studies are the
focus of this article. Specifically, the transport of silver(I), cesium(I) and thallium(I) ions into the interior of C-butylpyrogallolarene
nanocapsules has been investigated. The transformation of solid-state spherical gallium hexamers to solution-phase toroidal frameworks
suggests a structural rearrangement and concomitant inclusion or exclusion of ions in solution. Cation…π interactions and the anion position
in the assembly play important roles in the stability of the inclusion complexes.
Keywords: Supramolecular chemistry, Ion-molecule interactions, Solution, Spheres, Toroids, NMR, SANS.
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