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Selective Formylation of Azacalixpyridine Macrocycles and Their Transformation to Molecular Semicages

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journal contribution
posted on 18.09.2015 by Wen-Sheng Ren, Liang Zhao, Mei-Xiang Wang
The aromatic electrophilic formylation reaction of azacalix[2]­arene[2]­pyridine and azacalix[4]­pyridine were systematically studied. By simply controlling the ratio of reactants and the reaction temperature, the Vilsmeier–Haack reaction selectively afforded mono-, di-, and tetra-formylated azacalix[2]­arene[2]­pyridines and azacalix[4]­pyridines. The preferential and selective functionalization reactions of macrocycles were discussed in terms of their conformational structure and conjugation effect between aromatic subunits and bridging nitrogen atoms. All resulting functionalized azacalix[2]­arene[2]­pyridines and azacalix[4]­pyridines adopted a 1,3-alternate conformation both in the crystalline state and in solution. Taking advantage of the close proximity of aldehyde groups in 1,3-alternate di- and tetra-formylated azacalixpyridine macrocycles, the McMurry reductive coupling reaction of carbonyls was accomplished to yield unique semicage molecules.