A full paper by postdoctoral researcher Xiao-Yang Chen and former group member Dengke Shen (now Professor at Anhui University, China) entitled Selective Photodimerization in a Cyclodextrin Metal-Organic Framework has been selected to appear as a Supplementary Cover in Issue 24 of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.
The paper reports the incorporation of 1-anthracenecarboxylate as a substrate into a γ-cyclodextrin-containing metal-organic framework (CD-MOF-1) prior to carrying out its [4+4] photodimerization, affording one of four possible regioisomers in a highly enantioselective manner. A whole host of noncovalent bonding interactions in the porous channels of CD-MOF-1, such as electrostatic, hydrogen-bonding and [π···π] stacking interactions, help in stabilizing the alignment of the substrate pairs, as revealed by X-ray crystallography. The synergy of these noncovalent bonding interactions rivals that of the active sites in enzymes with the exception that enzymes usually have only one active site, whereas a small CD-MOF-1 crystal—e.g. in the micrometer size range—contains billions of active sites.
Pictured below – Xiao-Yang Chen and Dengke Shen along with their JACS cover image: