Molecules, Vol. 27, Pages 3969: Determining Repulsion in Cyclophane Cages

Molecules doi: 10.3390/molecules27133969

Mirosław Jabłoński

Superphane, i.e., [](1,2,3,4,5,6)cyclophane, is a very convenient molecule in studying the nature of guest⋯host interactions in endohedral complexes. Nevertheless, the presence of as many as six ethylene bridges in the superphane molecule makes it practically impossible for the trapped entity to escape out of the superphane cage. Thus, in this article, I have implemented the idea of using the superphane derivatives with a reduced number of ethylene linkers, which leads to the [2n] cyclophanes where n<6. Seven such cyclophanes are then allowed to form endohedral complexes with noble gas (Ng) atoms (He, Ne, Ar, Kr). It is shown that in the vast majority of cases, the initially trapped Ng atom spontaneously escapes from the cyclophane cage, creating an exohedral complex. This is the best proof that the Ng⋯cyclophane interaction in endohedral complexes is indeed highly repulsive, i.e., destabilizing. Apart from the `sealed’ superphane molecule, endohedral complexes are only formed in the case of the smallest He atom. However, it has been shown that in these cases, the Ng⋯cyclophane interaction inside the cyclophane cage is nonbonding, i.e., repulsive. This highly energetically unfavorable effect causes the cyclophane molecule to `swell’.

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