Characterizing and understanding self-assembling, nanocapsule host-guest systems
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Supramolecular, self-assembled nanocapsules have been shown to be capable of entrapping fluorescent guests. Previous solid- and solution-state research, focusing on hydrogen-bonded C-alkylpyrogallolarenes (PgC6)nanocapsules, have shed light on the host-guest-relationship potential of these materials. Investigations of these nanocapsules with different fluorophores were undertaken to better understand the guest properties (e.g., size, shape, molecular volume, and functionality) needed to facilitate robust encapsulation. In addition, another relatively new nanocapsule containing metal ions in place of some of the hydrogen bonds was also examined. UV-Visible absorption and steady-state and dynamic fluorescence spectroscopic techniques were used to examine the host-guest interactions between the capsule interior and the fluorescent reporter molecule pyrene butanol that became encapsulated in the PgC6 nanocapsule. Solution-state spectroscopic data was compared with solid-state, single-crystal, X-ray crystallographic results. This work supported the hypothesis that the tail functionality of the encapsulated guest is a critical feature for encapsulation and potentially ensures the robustness of that association. The research laid the foundation for understanding how to achieve successful encapsulation of future entities. The work advanced the understanding of the goodness-of-fit criterion between guest and host for these PgC6 supramolecular, self-assemblies.