Allosteric Supramolecular Triple-Layer Catalysts

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Science  01 Oct 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6000, pp. 66-69
DOI: 10.1126/science.1193928

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Allosteric regulation of organometallic catalysts could allow for greater control over reactions. We report an allosteric supramolecular structure in which a monometallic catalytic site has been buried in the middle layer of a triple-layer complex. Small molecules and elemental anions can open and close this complex and reversibly expose and conceal the catalytic center. The ring-opening polymerization of ε-caprolactone can be turned on by the in situ opening of the triple-layer complex and then completely turned off by reforming it through the abstraction of Cl, the allosteric effector agent, without appreciable loss of catalytic activity. This process can regulate the molecular weights of the resulting polymers.

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