Exo-cage catalysis and initiation derived from photo-activating host–guest encapsulation

Rebecca l. Spicer, Helen m. O'connor, Yael Ben-Tal, Hang Zhou, Patrick j. Boaler, Fraser c. Milne, Euan k. Brechin, Guy. c. Lloyd-Jones, Paul j. Lusby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Coordination cage catalysis has commonly relied on the endogenous binding of substrates, exploiting the cavity microenvironment and spatial constraints to engender increased reactivity or interesting selectivity. Nonetheless, there are issues with this approach, such as the frequent occurrence of product inhibition or the limited applicability to a wide range of substrates and reactions. Here we describe a strategy in which the cage acts as an exogenous catalyst, wherein reactants, intermediates and products remain unbound throughout the course of the catalytic cycle. Instead, the cage is used to alter the properties of a cofactor guest, which then transfers reactivity to the bulk-phase. We have exemplified this approach using photocatalysis, showing that a photoactivated host–guest complex can mediate [4 + 2] cycloadditions and the aza-Henry reaction. Detailed in situ photolysis experiments show that the cage can both act as a photo-initiator and as an on-cycle catalyst where the quantum yield is less than unity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalChemical Science
Early online date22 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 22 Nov 2023


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