Homochiral Dodecanuclear Lanthanide "Cage in Cage" for Enantioselective Separation. Academic Article uri icon


  • It is extremely difficult to anticipate the structure and the stereochemistry of a complex, particularly when the ligand is flexible and the metal node adopts diverse coordination numbers. When trivalent lanthanides (LnIII) and enantiopure amino acid ligands are utilized as building blocks, self-assembly sometimes yields rare chiral polynuclear structures. In this study, an enantiopure carboxyl-functionalized amino acid-based ligand with C3 symmetry reacts with lanthanum cations to give a homochiral porous coordination cage, (/)12-PCC-57. The dodecanuclear lanthanide cage has an unprecedented octahedral "cage-in-cage" framework. During the self-assembly, the chirality is transferred from the enantiopure ligand and fixed by the binuclear lanthanide cluster to give 12 metal centers that have either or homochiral stereochemistry. The cage exhibits excellent enantioselective separation of racemic alcohols, 2,3-dihydroquinazolinones, and multiple commercially available drugs. This finding exhibits a rare example of a multinuclear lanthanide complex with a dual-walled topology and homochirality. The highly ordered self-assembly and self-sorting of flexible amino acids and lanthanides shed light on the chiral transformation between different complicated artificial systems that mimic natural enzymes.

published proceedings

  • J Am Chem Soc

altmetric score

  • 4.45

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhu, C., Tang, H., Yang, K., Fang, Y. u., Wang, K., Xiao, Z., ... Zhou, H.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Zhu, Chengfeng||Tang, Haitong||Yang, Keke||Fang, Yu||Wang, Kun-Yu||Xiao, Zhifeng||Wu, Xiang||Li, Yougui||Powell, Joshua A||Zhou, Hong-Cai

publication date

  • August 2021