Self-assembly of Polycyclic Supramolecules Using Linear Metal-organic Ligands
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Coordination-driven self-assembly as a bottom-up approach has witnessed a rapid growth in building giant structures in the past few decades. Challenges still remain, however, within the construction of giant architectures in terms of high efficiency and complexity from simple building blocks. Inspired by the features of DNA and protein, which both have specific sequences, we herein design a series of linear building blocks with specific sequences through the coordination between terpyridine ligands and Ru(II). Different generations of polycyclic supramolecules (C1 to C5) with increasing complexity are obtained through the self-assembly with Cd(II), Fe(II) or Zn(II). The assembled structures are characterized via multi-dimensional mass spectrometry analysis as well as multi-dimensional and multinuclear NMR (1H, COSY, NOESY) analysis. Moreover, the largest two cycles C4 and C5 hierarchically assemble into ordered nanoscale structures on a graphite based on their precisely-controlled shapes and sizes with high shape-persistence.