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Pure Appl. Chem., 2000, Vol. 72, No. 12, pp. 2233-2241

From rotaxanes to knots. Templating, hydrogen bond patterns, and cyclochirality

Carin Reuter, Roland Schmieder and Fritz Vögtle

Kekulé-Institut für Organische Chemie und Biochemie der Universität Bonn, Gerhard-Domagk-Str. 1, D-53121 Bonn, Germany

Abstract: Rotaxanes of the amide type have been accessible in preparative yields by a variety of reactions. Beneath SN2- and SN2t-mechanisms we developed a synthesis of [2]rotaxanes that comes off a Michael addition. The motif of the attractive interactions between an axle-shaped and a macrocyclic wheel part to form rotaxanes consists of multiple hydrogen bonds in the nonionic strategy (threading), as well as in a new high yield anionic template synthesis (trapping). We introduce new synthetic routes for the preparation of [n]rotaxanes using nonionic as well as anionic templates. Furthermore, we report on the latest results of the statistical synthesis (slipping) by melting together axle and wheel to form rotaxanes. The chiroptical properties of a homologous series of cycloenantiomeric [1]rotaxanes as well as a cyclodiastereomeric [3]rotaxane have been described. The differences in the Cotton effects obtained show that small structural changes have an impact on the chiroptical properties of rotaxanes. The first X-ray structures obtained of cycloenantiomerically chiral amide-based [2]- and [1]rotaxanes as well as of the first topologically chiral amide-based knot compound were solved which show networks of H-bonds between the entities of the rotaxanes and the segments of the knot-shaped molecule. Our investigations in template effects based on hydrogen bonding for the synthesis of supramolecular structures open up a variety of strategies for the preparation of catenanes, rotaxanes andrecentlyeven molecular knots.