Synlett 2016; 27(02): 177-180
DOI: 10.1055/s-0035-1560221
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Small Is (also) Beautiful: Dynamic Covalent Self-Assembly of Cryptates

Max von Delius*
  • Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy & Interdisciplinary Center for Molecular Materials (ICMM), Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Henkestr. 42, 91054 Erlangen, Germany   Email:
Further Information

Publication History

Received: 06 August 2015

Accepted: 14 August 2015

Publication Date:
03 September 2015 (eFirst)


Cryptands can be seen as the smallest three-dimensional molecular cages still capable of accommodating (ionic) guests. We have recently realized the first dynamic covalent self-assembly of a monometallic cryptate, whose template synthesis and unique structure crucially rest on orthoester bridgeheads [Nat. Commun. 2015, 6, 7129]. In this Synpacts article, I discuss selected aspects that led to this discovery and I attempt to put the study into the context of recent trends in the self-assembly of larger molecular cages.

1 Introduction

2 Dynamic Covalent Self-Assembly of Orthoester Cryptates

3 From Covalent to Metallosupramolecular to Dynamic Covalent Synthesis

4 Orthoester Cryptates as Tiny Self-Assembled Cages

5 Conclusions