Molecular suit provides basic protection

Scientists have designed a macrocycle that can completely surround a small molecule like a suit and protect it from a strong base. This reversible suiting strategy could find applications as protecting groups in organic synthesis and the design of molecular machines.

Source: © Royal Society of Chemistry
The suit-1-ane: a macrocycle (orange) completely encloses a benzimidazolium cation (blue)

Protecting groups alter the reactivity of organic molecules by shielding functional groups from other reactants. Mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs) are linked structures that require a covalent bond to be broken to separate them, which could make them useful protecting groups.

Read the full story by Harriet Brewerton on Chemistry World.

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