Self-Assembly of Supramolecular Fractals from Generation 1 to 5

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In the seeking of molecular expression of fractal geometry, chemists have endeavored in the construction of molecules and supramolecules during the past few years, while only a few examples were reported, especially for the discrete architectures. We herein designed and constructed five generations of supramolecular fractals (G1–G5) based on the coordination-driven self-assembly of terpyridine ligands. All the ligands were synthesized from triphenylamine motif, which played a central role in geometry control. Different approaches based on direct Sonogashira coupling and/or ⟨tpy-Ru(II)-tpy⟩ connectivity were employed to prepare complex Ru(II)-organic building blocks. Fractals G1–G5 were obtained in high yields by precise coordination of organic or Ru(II)-organic building blocks with Zn(II) ions. Characterization of those architectures were accomplished by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy, electrospray ionization mass spectrometry (ESI-MS), traveling-wave ion mobility mass spectrometry (TWIM-MS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). Furthermore, the two largest fractals also hierarchically self-assemble into ordered supramolecular nanostructures either at solid/liquid interface or in solution on the basis of their well-defined scaffolds.


Complete list of authors: Xin-Qi Hao, Shi Bai, Ming Wang, Xiaohong Li, Bingqian Xu

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Journal of the American Chemical Society, v. 140, issue 43, p. 14087-14096