The role of the solvation shell decomposition of alkali metal ions in their selective complexation by resorcinarene and its cavitand

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

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2-Methylresorcinarene and its methylene-bridged cavitand derivative as host compounds were investigated in selective complexation of alkali metal ions as guests in methanol media by photoluminescence measurements. These host molecules possess either flexible (2-methylresorcinarene) or rigid (cavitand) molecular skeleton. The Benesi-Hildebrand method and the van't Hoff theory have been applied to determine the stability constants and the thermodynamic parameters, respectively. Considerable interactions between 2-methylresorcinarene and Li + or Na + ions have been observed while the rigid cavitand derivative can interact only with K + or Cs + ions. Neither the complexes of 2-methylresorcinarene with K + or Cs + nor those of the cavitand derivative with Li + or Na + ions are stable at room temperature in methanol media. Quantum-chemical investigations justified that only solvated Li + and Na + ions can form stable complexes with 2-methylresorcinarene while unsolvated K + and Cs + ions form stable complexes with the methylene-bridged cavitand. These results highlight that the stability of the guest solvation shell and its size could play a key role in the selectivity behaviour of host molecules.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)374-378
Number of pages5
JournalSupramolecular Chemistry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2012



  • alkali metal ions
  • cavitand
  • resorcinarene
  • solvation shell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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