Role of the conformational freedom of the skeleton in the complex formation ability of resorcinarene derivatives toward a neutral phenol guest

Sándor Kunsági-Máté, Zsolt Csók, Koichi Iwata, Erzsébet Szász, László Kollár

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The interaction of phenol guest molecules with 2-methylresorcinarene and its methylene-bridged cavitand derivative has been investigated in methanol. The host molecules were selected according to the flexibility of their cavities by varying the conformational freedom of the molecular skeleton prior to molecular association. The results show stronger host - phenol interactions when the host molecule possesses a rigid molecular skeleton (i.e., cavitand) compared to that of the flexible resorcinarene with phenol. Although the enthalpy change associated with the molecular interactions was found to be the same in both cases, higher negative entropy change was obtained when the resorcinarene interacted with the phenol molecules at room temperature. As a result, stronger host - guest complexes are formed at room temperature when the host molecules, possessing a rigid molecular skeleton, participated in the complex formation. Furthermore, since the higher entropy change results in higher temperature-dependence of the interactions, the stability of the complexes formed with the flexible resorcinarene is smaller at higher temperature. These results highlight that the decreasing flexibility of the host molecular skeleton itself can determine the entropy change during the complexation process; therefore, the temperature dependence of the complex stabilities highly depends on the flexibility of the host's molecular skeleton. This information might contribute to the development of selective and sensitive sensor molecules toward phenol derivatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3339-3343
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - Apr 7 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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