Vernier template synthesis of molecular knots

Zoe Ashbridge, Elisabeth Kreidt, Lucian Pirvu, Fredrik Schaufelberger, Joakim Halldin Stenlid, Frank Abild-Pedersen, David A Leigh
Year of publication: 

Molecular knots are often prepared using metal helicates to cross the strands. We found that coordinatively mismatching oligodentate ligands and metal ions provides a more effective way to synthesize larger knots using Vernier templating. Strands composed of different numbers of tridentate 2,6-pyridinedicarboxamide groups fold around nine-coordinate lanthanide (III) ions to generate strand-entangled complexes with the lowest common multiple of coordination sites for the ligand strands and metal ions. Ring-closing olefin metathesis then completes the knots. A 3:2 (ditopic strand:metal) Vernier assembly produces +31#+31 and −31#−31 granny knots. Vernier complexes of 3:4 (tetratopic strand:metal) stoichiometry selectively form a 378-atom-long trefoil-of-trefoils triskelion knot with 12 alternating strand crossings or, by using opposing stereochemistry at the terminus of the strand, an inverted-core triskelion knot with six alternating and six nonalternating strand crossings.

Funding sources: