Anion Supramolecular Chemistry

Our group has been developing fluorescent and colorimetric sensors for anions for many years. Examples include naphtalimide-based fluorescent sensors,1-3 lanthanide complexes with anion sensing ability 4,5 or lanthanide complexes in which the luminescence would be quenched by the displacement of the antenna,6,7 even when supported onto gold nanoparticles.8

anion1 anion2 anion3

The combination of Ru(II)polypyridyl complexes and the urea binding moiety has been explored 9 to create highly luminescent anion sensors, while Tröger base cleft-like bis(thiourea) receptor hosts have been studied as colorimetric sensors. 10








Particular effort has been put into developing anion sensors that can function in highly competitive environments, such as water or aqueous systems, due to the ever-important need for the detection and extraction of hazardous anions from water.11-14

anion6 anion7





More recently our interest has moved towards the exploitation of anion-ligand interactions for the anion-directed self-assembly of capsules and cages, 15 as well as interlocked systems with anion-binding abilities16.








Selected References:

(1)          Duke, R. M.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Tetrahedron Letters 2011, 52, 1503.

(2)          Duke, R. M.; Veale, E. B.; Pfeffer, F. M.; Kruger, P. E.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Chem Soc Rev 2010, 39, 3936.

(3)          Veale, E. B.; Tocci, G. M.; Pfeffer, F. M.; Kruger, P. E.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Org Biomol Chem 2009, 7, 3447.

(4)          dos Santos, C. M. G.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Supramolecular Chemistry 2009, 21, 173.

(5)          Dos Santos, C. M.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Dalton Trans 2009, 4712.

(6)          Caffrey, D. F.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Dalton Trans 2014, 43, 17964.

(7)          Leonard, J. P.; dos Santos, C. M.; Plush, S. E.; McCabe, T.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Chem Commun (Camb) 2007, 129.

(8)          Massue, J.; Quinn, S. J.; Gunnlaugsson, T. J Am Chem Soc 2008, 130, 6900.

(9)          Kitchen, J. A.; Boyle, E. M.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Inorganica Chimica Acta 2012, 381, 236.

(10)        Boyle, E. M.; Comby, S.; Molloy, J. K.; Gunnlaugsson, T. J Org Chem 2013, 78, 8312.

(11)        Duke, R. M.; McCabe, T.; Schmitt, W.; Gunnlaugsson, T. J Org Chem 2012, 77, 3115.

(12)        Harte, A. J.; Jensen, P.; Plush, S. E.; Kruger, P. E.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Inorg Chem 2006, 45, 9465.

(13)        Gunnlaugsson, T.; Kruger, P. E.; Jensen, P.; Tierney, J.; Ali, H. D.; Hussey, G. M. J Org Chem 2005, 70, 10875.

(14)        Lincheneau, C.; Duke, R. M.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Org Biomol Chem 2012, 10, 6069.

(15)        Pandurangan, K.; Kitchen, J. A.; Blasco, S.; Boyle, E. M.; Fitzpatrick, B.; Feeney, M.; Kruger, P. E.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2015, 54, 4566.

(16)        Byrne, J. P.; Blasco, S.; Aletti, A. B.; Hessman, G.; Gunnlaugsson, T. Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 2016, 55, 8938.