Three-dimensional periodic supramolecular organic framework ion sponge in water and microcrystals

Jia Tian, Tian You Zhou, Shao Chen Zhang, Shaul Aloni, Maria Virginia Altoe, Song Hai Xie, Hui Wang, Dan Wei Zhang*, Xin Zhao, Zhan Ting Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

121 Citations (Scopus)


Self-assembly has emerged as a powerful approach to generating complex supramolecular architectures. Despite there being many crystalline frameworks reported in the solid state, the construction of highly soluble periodic supramolecular networks in a three-dimensional space is still a challenge. Here we demonstrate that the encapsulation motif, which involves the dimerization of two aromatic units within cucurbit[8]uril, can be used to direct the co-assembly of a tetratopic molecular block and cucurbit[8]uril into a periodic three-dimensional supramolecular organic framework in water. The periodicity of the supramolecular organic framework is supported by solution-phase small-angle X-ray-scattering and diffraction experiments. Upon evaporating the solvent, the periodicity of the framework is maintained in porous microcrystals. As a supramolecular€ion sponge €, the framework can absorb different kinds of anionic guests, including drugs, in both water and microcrystals, and drugs absorbed in microcrystals can be released to water with selectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5574
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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