Navigated self-assembly of a Pd2L4 cage by modulation of an energy landscape under kinetic control

Tomoki Tateishi, Satoshi Takahashi, Atsushi Okazawa, Vicente Martí-Centelles, Jianzhu Wang, Tatsuo Kojima, Paul J. Lusby*, Hirofumi Sato, Shuichi Hiraoka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Kinetic control of molecular self-assembly remains difficult because of insufficient understanding of molecular self-assembly mechanisms. Here we report the formation of a metastable [Pd2L4]4+ cage structure composed of naphthalene-based ditopic ligands (L) and Pd(II) ions in very high yield (99%) under kinetic control by modulating the energy landscape. When self-assembly occurs with anionic guests in weakly cooordinating solvent then suitable intermedites and the metastable cage is formed. These conditions also prevent further transformation into the thermodynamically decomposed state. The cage formation pathways under kinetic control and the effect of the anions encapsulated on the self-assembly processes were investigated by QASAP (quantitative analysis of self-assembly process) and NASAP (numerical analysis of self-assembly process). It was found that the self-assembly with a preferred guest (BF4 -) proceeds through intermediates composed of no more components than the cage ([PdaLbXc]2a+ (a ≤ 2, b ≤ 4, X indicates a leaving ligand)) and that the final intramolecular cage-closure step is the rate-determining step. In contrast, a weaker guest (OTf-) causes the transient formation of intermediates composed of more components than the cage ([PdaLbXc]2a+ (a > 2, b > 4)), which are finally converted into the cage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19669-19676
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number50
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 18
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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