Probing the kinetics in supramolecular chemistry and molecular assembly by microfluidic-NMR spectroscopy

Hongxun Fang, Yibin Sun, Xinchang Wang, Manvendra Sharma, Zhong Chen, Xiaoyu Cao*, Marcel Utz* and Zhongqun Tian*

Science China Chemistry, 2018

Microfluidic-NMR spectroscopy has been extended to study the kinetics in supramolecular chemistry and molecular assembly. Kinetics of a multicomponent host-guest supramolecular system containing viologen derivatives, β-cyclodextrins and cucurbit [7]urils are studied by a PMMA based microfluidic chip combined with a dedicated transmission line probe for NMR detection. By combining microfluidic technology with NMR spectroscopy, the amount of material required for a full kinetic study could be minimized. This is crucial in supramolecular chemistry, which often involves highly sophisticated and synthetically costly building blocks. The small size of the microfluidic structure is crucial in bringing the time scale for kinetic monitoring down to seconds. At the same time, the transmission line NMR probe provides sufficient sensitivity to work at low (2 mM) concentrations.

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