Tales from a PhD – Synthesising a catenane

What does it look like?

Movie made with CDC's Mercury which then generated Povray file and was edited to give some further detail.  http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Solutions/CSDSystem/Pages/Mercury.aspx http://www.povray.org/

Movie made with CDC’s Mercury which then generated Povray file and was edited to give some further detail.
http://www.ccdc.cam.ac.uk/Solutions/CSDSystem/Pages/Mercury.aspx
http://www.povray.org/

What is it?

Jason Price talks us though a crystallography tale from his student days, working on making interlocked chain-like molecules:

‘During my PhD I was interested in generating complicated molecular species from multiple small components. One target was to synthesize a catenane, interlocked molecules in a chain like structure (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catenane). Using a copper(I) metal ion I was able to generate a pre-organized complex that was suitable for catenane synthesis. The experiment appeared to work with with good supporting evidence (MS, NMR) but it was not irrefutable. When I saw those crystals as bright yellow/orange flat plates sparkling in the bottom of my crystallization flask, I was very excited indeed. Would they give that crystal structure that could be the proof I was after?  After a long wait and some very good crystallographic analysis (not by me, as there was twinning involved) the crystals were shown to be in the target catenane.’

Where did it come from?

Jason published his structure here.

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