Water structuring inside the cavities of cucurbit[n]urils (n = 5–8): a quantum-chemical forecast

  • Tatiana N. Grishaeva
  • Alexey N. Masliy
  • Andrey M. Kuznetsov
Original Article


In this work we report findings of the quantum-chemical examination of water structuring in the cavities of cucurbit[n]urils (CB[n]), n = 5–8 obtained within the density functional theory. The thermodynamically most stable structures of inclusion compounds (H2O)m@CB[n] were determined for different numbers m of H2O molecules inside the cavities. From the viewpoint of thermodynamics, the most probable numbers m of water molecules in the CB[n] homologues are the following: m = 2 for CB[5], m = 4 for CB[6], m = 8 for CB[7] and m = 10 for CB[8]. For the case of CB[6] synthesized in aqueous solution, we compared its experimental IR spectrum with that calculated quantum-chemically for the model inclusion systems (H2O)m@CB[6] where m ranges from 1 to 6. The best agreement between the experimental and theoretical spectra was observed for (H2O)4@CB[6], in complete agreement with the conclusion made based on the thermodynamic estimations. Our results are also in good agreement with other available estimates of the most probable number of water molecules in CB[n].


DFT Cucurbit[n]urils Inclusion compounds Water structuring IR spectra 



This work was financially supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation (the basic part of the state task No. 4.5382.2017/8.9). The authors also thank L.A. Sheludyakova and E.A. Kovalenko (Nikolaev Institute of Inorganic Chemistry, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Novosibirsk, Russian Federation) for kindly providing IR spectra of CB[6].

Supplementary material

10847_2017_751_MOESM1_ESM.doc (562 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 562 KB)


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Kazan National Research Technological UniversityKazanRussian Federation

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