Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät - Institut für Chemie

Running Rings Around Rings

Running Rings around Rings

A new class of molecular hosts was developed by the team of Dr. Oliver Dumele. Strained aromatic rings of pyrene were designed to create a confined binding space for molecular macrocycles. The bound macrocycles of crown ethers can further complex alkaline cations and the outer ring serves as secondary coordination sphere. Niklas Grabicki, who led the experimental work, intends to use these supramolecular systems for future sensors and to gain fundamental understanding of highly strain aromatic rings. The structural elucidation was done in collaborative work with the Helmholtz-Zentrum at Berlin’s synchrotron BESSY-II.

Stuart Cantrill, editor in chief of Nature Chemistry, commented on the work as the essential link between Pederson’s Nobel Prize (1987) on cationic crwon ethers and the modern class of cycloparaphenylenes (para-connected benzene rings bent into a cyclic structure) as molecular hosts.

The work was published in Angewandte Chemie and is open-access thanks to the Project „DEAL“.


Link Nature Chemistry:

Link Angewandte Chemie (English):

Link Angewandte Chemie (German):



Dr. Oliver Dumele is a research group leader at the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry and functional Materials at HU Berlin.

Twitter: @DumeleLab