The synthesis of rotaxanes, each comprising a viologen core threaded through a cucurbituril (Q8, Figure 1) macrocycle and stoppered by tetraphenylmethane groups, and their binding to second guests as inclusion complexes in organic and aqueous media are described. Stoppering was observed to have little effect on binding. Chemical modification of the threaded guest was used to control solubility and binding characteristics, thus demonstrating a novel approach to making artificial receptors with readily modifiable properties.
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