Final Report Summary - SELFPHOS (Design and Self-Assembly of Organometallic-Based Polypnictogen Materials and Discrete Nano-sized Supramolecules)
Self-assembly is a principle to order complex routes on which all our life processes are based. For artificial systems, the degree of complexity increases, the more single components are incorporated in such processes. For the first time, we were able to develop certain chemical principles to obtain insight into self-assembly processes of extended multidimensional networks and giant spherical molecules. By using organometallic polyphosphorus compounds, it has become possible for the first time to synthesize prototypes of such network materials as well as of nano-sized spherical supramolecules. These seminal discoveries have been enhanced within this project to gain deeper insights into the functionalities of such polyelemental building blocks. In this context, two main areas were concentrated on: the generation of three-dimensional organometallic-organic hybrid materials and the synthesis of molecular nano-sized spherical and capsular aggregates. While the first area focuses on the reproducible synthesis of materials with rigid frameworks in large quantities, research in the second area centers on the usage of mainly pentagonally structured polyphosphorus compounds to build nano-sized spherical molecules by self-assembly processes. The latter ones are extremely large and reveal, in addition, extraordinary functionalities such as multifunctional binding pockets of an extensive host-guest chemistry and the reversible enclosure and release of reactive species and reaction components. Moreover, we could for the first time tune such complex molecules to sizes of some nanometers, which come close to sizes of biological systems such as proteins e.g. hemoglobin.