Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


Chemistry and Biochemistry



First Advisor

Linda S Shimizu


Self-assembly of bis-urea macrocycles usually give tubular crystals with nano-sized channels that we use as molecular container. These molecular containers alter the reactivity, stability, and chemical behavior of the reactants entrapped within them. This dissertation is focused on bulk synthesis, material characterization and applications of a self-assembled tubular molecular container. This crystalline straw-like container is developed from cyclic bis-urea macrocycles containing two C-shaped phenylethynylene units and two urea groups. These macrocycles afford a large open channel with a diameter of ~9 Å and it can accommodate larger solid guests such as coumarin and its methylated derivatives, stilbenes, acenaphthylene and styrenes. We developed the method to introduce these solid guests into the channel from its solution. We characterized the tubular host as well as different host*guest complexes by solid-state techniques including PXRD, CP MAS 13C NMR, fluorescence and UV-vis spectroscopy. These guests usually undergo non selective photoreaction in solid-state with very low percent conversion and produce different photodimers and/or isomers. Within our molecular container, a number of guests showed photo-dimerization with amazing selectivity and enhanced conversion in the solid-state. We also performed molecular modeling studies to find out the reason behind this unprecedented selectivity. We found the orientation of the guest molecules inside the channel as well as the stability of the photoproducts within the confinement determines the outcome of the reactions.

We also developed a 5,5'-bipyridine containing bis-urea macrocycle and formed its complexes with metals. These complexes have potential to further assemble through dative bonds, hydrogen bonding and aryl stacking interactions to afford metal organic framework (MOF). We found the Ag complex forms oligomers and polymers. In the polymer structure it forms infinite chains comprised of "box" like unit cell. In one unit cell, two silver atoms are 3.13 Å apart suggesting a very interesting Ag-Ag bond interaction. We probed the Ag-Ag interaction by solid-state spectroscopic techniques as well as ESI-MS and Raman spectroscopy. The results indicate that there is indeed an interaction between the two silver atoms and their proximity is not merely a packing artifact.