Site-selective reactions mediated by molecular containers

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In this review, various site-selective reactions mediated by molecular containers are summarized. The emphasis is on those reactions that give different product distributions on the potential reactive sites inside the containers than they do outside, free in solution. Specific cases include site-selective cycloaddition and addition of arenes, reduction of epoxides, α,β-unsaturated aldehydes, azides, halides and alkenes, oxidation of remote C–H bonds and alkenes, and substitution reactions involving ring-opening cyclization of epoxides, nucleophilic substitution of allylic chlorides, and hydrolysis reactions. The product selectivity is interpreted as the consequence of the space shape and environment inside the container. The containers include supramolecular structures self-assembled through metal/ligand interactions or hydrogen bonding and open-ended covalent structures such as cyclodextrins and cavitands. Challenges and prospects for the future are also provided.

Wang, R., Yu, Y. Site-selective reactions mediated by molecular containers. Beilstein J. Org. Chem. 2022, 18, 309–324.

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