On the macrocyclization selectivity of meta-substituted diamines and dialdehydes: towards macrocycles with tunable functional peripheries

  • Gregor Klein
  • Audrey LlevotEmail author
  • Pia Löser
  • Benjamin Bitterer
  • Julian Helfferich
  • Wolfgang Wenzel
  • Christopher Barner-Kowollik
  • Michael A. R. MeierEmail author
Original Article


The efficient preparation of functional rigid and soluble macrocycles remains a challenge for synthetic chemists. Here, we exploit the thermodynamic control of dynamic covalent chemistry to investigate the influence of the monomer structure on the macrocyclization selectivity. A series of rigid cyclic hexamer has been synthesized by imine condensation of benzene building blocks, i.e. meta-substituted diamines and dialdehydes, templated by calcium(II) chloride. The monomers were designed to feature various additional functional groups either available for further post-cyclization modifications or acting as solubilizing groups. The cyclization selectivity was systematically investigated and optimized depending on the length of the applied solubilizing group and on the nature of the additional functional group. A selectivity up to 92% was reached for the macrocyclization exhibiting trifluoromethyl and bromine groups at the outer periphery and hydroxyl groups in the cavity.

Graphic abstract


Macrocycle Template Schiff base Selectivity 



Christopher Barner-Kowollik is acknowledges a Laureate Fellowship from the Australian Research Council (ARC) and continued key support from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). The authors would like to thank T. Sattelberger, C. Albrecht and T. Anh for experimental support.

Supplementary material

10847_2019_931_MOESM1_ESM.docx (8.8 mb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 8999 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Applied ChemistryInstitute of Organic Chemistry (IOC), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères Organiques (LCPO), UMR 5629University of Bordeaux, CNRS, Bordeaux INPPessac CedexFrance
  3. 3.Soft Matter Materials Laboratory, School of Chemistry, Physics and Mechanical EngineeringQueensland University of Technology (QUT)BrisbaneAustralia
  4. 4.Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Institute of Nanotechnology (INT), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)Eggenstein-LeopoldshafenGermany

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