As part of an ongoing study to construct a molecular Turing machine in which a polymer chain is encoded via allosteric information transfer between macrocyclic complexes, we describe the thermodynamic and kinetic characterization of a multicomponent self-assembled system based on a zinc porphyrin macrocyclic compound, a bidentate ligand (1,4-diazabicyclo[2.2.2]octane, DABCO), and a viologen-substituted polymer guest. Initial addition of DABCO to the porphyrin macrocycle in chloroform solution leads to the formation of a stable 2:1 (porphyrin:DABCO) dimeric complex, even under dilute conditions, by means of strong cooperative interactions involving hydrogen and metal–ligand bonds. Further titration of the porphyrin-DABCO mixtures with the polymer gives rise to a complex array of species in the solution. The system is analyzed in detail by a combination of spectroscopic measurements and computational modeling. Each association constant in the binding scheme and the fraction of each individual complex that is formed in solution are determined precisely using a mass-balance model. Kinetic studies revealed that the rates of the polymer threading and dethreading in and out of the dimeric system are remarkably slow, indicating that the polymer is locked inside the cavity of the stable 2:1 dimeric complex as a result of strong allosteric interactions.
Cantekin, S., Markvoort, A. J., Elemans, J. A. A. W., Rowan, A. E., & Nolte, R. J. M. (2015). Allosterically controlled threading of polymers through macrocyclic dimers. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 137(11), 3915-3923. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.5b00431