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Calix[4]arene-linked bisporphyrin hosts for fullerenes: binding strength, solvation effects, and porphyrin-fullerene charge transfer bands.

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A calix[4]arene scaffolding has been used to construct bisporphyrin ("jaws" porphyrin) hosts for supramolecular binding of fullerene guests. Fullerene affinities were optimized by varying the nature of the covalent linkage of the porphyrins to the calixarenes. Binding constants for C60 and C70 in toluene were explored as a function of substituents at the periphery of the porphyrin, and 3,5-di-tert-butylphenyl groups gave rise to the highest fullerene affinities (26,000 M(-1) for C60). The origin of this high fullerene affinity has been traced to differential solvation effects rather than to electronic effects. Studies of binding constants as a function of solvent (toluene < benzonitrile < dichloromethane < cyclohexane) correlate inversely with fullerene solubility, indicating that desolvation of the fullerene is a major factor determining the magnitude of binding constants. The energetics of fullerene binding have been determined in terms of DelatH and DeltaS and are consistent with an enthalpy-driven, solvation-dependent process. A direct relationship between supramolecular binding of a fullerene guest to a bisporphyrin host and the appearance of a broad NIR absorption band have been established. The energy of this band moves in a predictable manner as a function of the electronic structure of the porphyrin, thereby establishing its origin in porphyrin-to-fullerene charge transfer.

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