Molecular Recognition by Self-Assembled Monolayers of Cavitand Receptors

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Science  02 Sep 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5177, pp. 1413-1415
DOI: 10.1126/science.265.5177.1413


It is shown by angle-resolved x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy that cavitands derived from resorcin[4]arenes provided with four dialkylsulfide chains form stable monolayers on gold surfaces that are well organized by self-assembly. The cavitand headgroups at the surface of the resorcin[4]arene monolayer act as molecular recognition sites for small organic molecules with remarkable selectivity for perchloroethylene (C2Cl4). Comparative thermal desorption experiments indicate binding sites with high interaction energies of C2Cl4 at the surface of the resorcin[4]arene monolayers. Fast and reversible "host-guest" interactions were found by the monitoring of extremely small mass changes (in the nanogram range) with a quartz microbalance oscillator provided with gold electrodes coated by resorcin[4]arene monolayers.