Ultra-large supramolecular coordination cages composed of endohedral Archimedean and Platonic bodies

Kevin Byrne, Muhammad Zubair, Nianyong Zhu, Xiao-ping Zhou, Daniel S. Fox, Hongzhou Zhang, Brendan Twamley, Matthew J. Lennox, Tina Düren, Wolfgang Schmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (SciVal)


Pioneered by Lehn, Cram, Peterson and Breslow, supramolecular chemistry concepts have evolved providing fundamental knowledge of the relationships between the structures and reactivities of organized molecules. A particular fascinating class of metallo-supramolecular molecules are hollow coordination cages that provide cavities of molecular dimensions promoting applications in diverse areas including catalysis, enzyme mimetics and material science. Here we report the synthesis of coordination cages with exceptional cross-sectional diameters that are composed of multiple sub-cages providing numerous distinctive binding sites through labile coordination solvent molecules. The building principles, involving Archimedean and Platonic bodies, renders these supramolecular keplerates as a class of cages whose composition and topological aspects compare to characteristics of edge-transitive {Cu2} MOFs with A3X4 stoichiometry. The nature of the cavities in these double-shell metal-organic polyhedra and their inner/outer binding sites provide perspectives for post-synthetic functionalizations, separations and catalysis. Transmission electron microscopy studies demonstrate that single molecules are experimentally accessible.
Original languageEnglish
Article number15268
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Early online date9 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2017


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