Institut für Organische Chemie

Cagemolecules (Spheres)

General Description

Spheres are a type of macrocycle related to heterofullerenes. Fullerene fragments are replaced by porphin, phthalocyanin or subphthalocyanine fragments.
Spheres are not obtained from fullerenes, but from smaller trifunctional monomers (Dinitriles) which connect the forming of macrocycles.
In analogy to ring-closure reactions, the reaction takes place in a highly diluted solution to prohibit formation of planar polymers. The addition of transition metal salts supports the preorganisation of the monomers through the template effect.

Properties and Applications

Spheres should have both of the properties of aromatic macrocycles and of fullerenes. The vacancy in the middle of the sphere is big enough for occupation by small molecules in contrast to fullerenes. Through this, the separation of mixtures is possible. Also, pharmacologically active molecules could be "stored" within. With special sidechains, applications in photodynamic therapy of cancer are imaginable. After functionalisation, the spheres can connect themselves to give new kinds of polymers.
Also, catalytic and sensoric properties are conceiveable.


This project is supported by ARGUS-Holding GmbH, Bahnhofstr. 53a, 69115 Heidelberg (Germany).