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Molecular Tectonics. Selective Exchange of Cations in Porous Anionic Hydrogen-Bonded Networks Built from Derivatives of Tetraphenylborate

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posted on 27.04.2005, 00:00 by Nadia Malek, Thierry Maris, Michel Simard, James D. Wuest
Tetraphenylmethanes with multiple hydrogen-bonding sites are known to associate to form robust porous supramolecular networks. Analogous anionic networks can be built from the corresponding tetraphenylborates. Crystallization of the tetraphenylphosphonium salt of tetraphenylborate 2 produces an anionic network in which 74% of the volume is available for including cations and neutral guests. Other salts of anion 2 with diverse cations crystallize consistently to form the same network, whereas a neutral analogue of anion 2, tetraphenylmethane 1, produces an uncharged network that is far less open. Cations can be exchanged in single crystals of salts of tetraphenylborate 2 with retention of crystallinity and with selectivities similar to those observed in typical zeolites. Together, these observations provide new strategies for making ordered molecular materials by design, and they reveal that constructing such materials from charged subunits offers special advantages.