Selective effect of guest molecule length and hydrogen bonding on the supramolecular host structure

J Phys Chem B. 2005 Dec 1;109(47):22296-300. doi: 10.1021/jp053293x.


A host supramolecular structure consisting of bis-(2,2':6',2' '-terpyridine)-4'-oxyhexadecane (BT-O-C16) is shown to respond to guest molecules in dramatic ways, as observed by using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) on a highly oriented pyrolytic graphite surface under ambient conditions. It is observed that small linear molecules can be encapsulated within the host supramolecular lattice. The characteristics of the host structure were nearly unaffected by the encapsulated guest molecules of terphthalic acid (TPA) dimers, whereas appreciable changes in cavity dimension can be observed with azobenzene-4,4'-dicarboxylic acid. The STM study and density functional theory (DFT) analysis reveal that intermolecular hydrogen bonding interaction plays an essential role in forming the assembling structures. The difference in guest molecule length is considered the important cause for the different guest-host complexes.