Alkali-Metal-Ion-Directed Self-Assembly of Redox-Active Manganese(III) Supramolecular Boxes

The ability to organize functional molecules into higher dimensional arrays with well-defined spatial relationships between the components is one of the major goals in supramolecular chemistry. We report here a new route for the preparation of supramolecular boxes, incorporating two types of metal ions: (i) alkali-metal ions, which induce the supramolecular architecture and essentially play a structural role in the final compounds; (ii) manganese­(III) ions, which are redox-active systems and give functionality to the new cages. Our results evidence that the size of the cavity inside the box can be tuned depending on the alkali metal used, a characteristic that gives this new family of compounds the potential to act selectively against different substrates. These compounds behave as active catalysts for disproportionation of H2O2 or for water photolysis, but they catalyze neither catecholase reaction nor peroxidase action upon using bulky organic substrates.