American Chemical Society
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Cavity-Directed Synthesis of Labile Silanol Oligomers within Self-Assembled Coordination Cages

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journal contribution
posted on 2001-10-09, 00:00 authored by Michito Yoshizawa, Takahiro Kusukawa, Makoto Fujita, Shigeru Sakamoto, Kentaro Yamaguchi
This paper introduces a concept that is referred to as cavity-directed synthesis by showing the selective oligomerization of trialkoxysilanes, RSi(OMe)3 (7), in self-assembled hollow compounds. Pd(II)-linked coordination hosts (cage, bowl, or tube) are found to strictly control the oligomerization of 7 (R = 2-naphthyl) in such a way that their optimal guests are produced in their cavities. Thus, within coordination tube 1, one molecule of 7 is accommodated and subsequently hydrolyzed to give silanetriol RSi(OH)3 (4). Under ordinary aqueous conditions, this reactive compound undergoes rapid polycondensation (so-called sol−gel condensation) leading to Si−O networks. Within the cavity of 1, however, 4 remains very stable and the polycondensation is completely suppressed. On the other hand, coordination bowl 2 and cage 3 give its dimers RSi(OH)2OSi(OH)2R (5) and cyclic trimers [RSi(OH)O]3 (6), respectively. X-ray crystallographic studies clearly show that the cavity size and the shape of 1, 2, and 3 nicely fit with those of 4, 5, and 6, respectively, demonstrating that the cavities strictly direct the oligomerizaion reaction of 7.