Self-assembled M12L24 nanospheres as a reaction vessel to facilitate a dinuclear Cu(i) catalyzed cyclization reaction.


Homogeneous, Supramolecular and Bio-Inspired Catalysis , Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences , University of Amsterdam , Science Park 904 , Amsterdam 1098XH , The Netherlands . Email: [Email]


The application of large M12L24 nanospheres allows the pre-concentration of catalysts to reach high local concentrations, facilitating reactions that proceed through dinuclear mechanisms. The mechanism of the copper(i)-catalyzed cyclization of 4-pentynoic acid has been elucidated by means of a detailed mechanistic study. The kinetics of the reaction show a higher order in copper, indicating the formation of a bis-Cu intermediate as the key rate determining step of the reaction. This intermediate was further identified during catalysis by CIS-HRMS analysis of the reaction mixture. Based on the mechanistic findings, an M12L24 nanosphere was applied that can bind up to 12 copper catalysts by hydrogen bonding. This pre-organization of copper catalysts in the nanosphere results in a high local concentration of copper leading to higher reaction rates and turnover numbers as the dinuclear pathway is favored.