Self-Assembling Leaflets

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Science  10 Mar 2000:
Vol. 287, Issue 5459, pp. 1713
DOI: 10.1126/science.287.5459.1713e

Macrocyclic molecules such as crown ethers have useful ion-binding properties, and their incorporation into a matrix can create materials with new properties, especially if these ring structures are left free for binding metals. Sharma and Clearfield have now found that derivatized crown ethers bearing a phosphonate group can self-assemble into well-defined “leaflet” structures in the presence of the divalent metal ions Co2+ and Cd2+. In the Co2+ complex (2), the metal does not coordinate with the phosphonates; the self-assembly proceeds through hydrogen bonding to form a polyphosphonate chain. In the Cd2+ complex, the Cd cations form part of a more complicated one-dimensional polymer network.—PDS

J. Am. Chem. Soc.122, 1558 (2000).

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