Molecular recognition and self-assembly of pillarenes

  • Li-Li Tan
  • Ying-Wei Yang
Review Article


As a rapidly developing class of synthetic macrocycles with intrinsic characteristics and properties, pillarenes (or pillararenes) have become more and more attractive on account of their unique features and potentials in fabricating functional materials. This feature article provides an overview of molecular recognition and self-assembly of pillarenes. The host–guest motifs, building strategies, topological architectures, stimuli-responsiveness, functionalities and various supramolecular assemblies including mechanically interlocked molecules containing rotaxanes, polyrotaxanes and catenanes, self-inclusion complexes, supramolecular dimers and polymers, micelles, vesicles, tubes and artificial transmembrane channels are comprehensively discussed. Prospects about future research directions and applications in this research area are predicted.


Pillarenes Recognition Self-assembly Supramolecular chemistry Supramolecular polymers Synthetic macrocycle 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21272093), the Specialized Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Higher Education of China (20120061120117), and the Innovation Program of the State Key Laboratory of Supramolecular Structure and Materials.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Supramolecular Structure and Materials, College of ChemistryJilin UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China

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