Dynamic mechanostereochemical switching of a co-conformationally flexible [2]catenane controlled by specific ionic guests

Nat Commun. 2024 Mar 4;15(1):1952. doi: 10.1038/s41467-024-46099-w.


Responsive synthetic receptors for adaptive recognition of different ionic guests in a competitive environment are valuable molecular tools for not only ion sensing and transport, but also the development of ion-responsive smart materials and related technologies. By virtue of the mechanical chelation and ability to undergo large-amplitude co-conformational changes, described herein is the discovery of a chameleon-like [2]catenane that selectively binds copper(I) or sulfate ions and its associated co-conformational mechanostereochemical switching. This work highlights not only the advantages and versatility of catenane as a molecular skeleton in receptor design, but also its potential in constructing complex responsive systems with multiple inputs and outputs.