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Supramolecular Hosts: From Energy Intensive Separations to Sensors and Soft Robotics

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Host-guest based mechanisms have been heavily exploited for molecular recognition and eventual separation/ entrapment of a guest molecule. Choosing the right host has in most of the cases depended on complimentary size and charge thus, focusing mainly on the intrinsic interactions of the guest in the cavity of a macrocycle or a cage. Interestingly, expanding host-guest interactions to the extrinsic environment of the host afforded an intriguing set of molecular descriptors that ultimately led to unexplored host-guest interactions. In this talk, a set of supramolecular hosts ranging from 2D macrocycles to 3D cages are presented with intriguing intrinsic and extrinsic host-guest interactions that enabled them to be used for hydrocarbon and isomers separation from crude oil as well as smart recognition units in polymer composites for sensors and soft robotics. Understanding the full range of supramolecular interactions will ultimately promote a better integration of molecular building blocks to design and fabricate the “next -generation” sustainable and smart materials.

This talk is part of the Materials Chemistry Research Interest Group series.

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