On the way to supramolecular photochemistry at the single-molecule level

Christian Schäfer, Björn Decker, Matthias Letzel, Francesca Novara, Rainer Eckel, Robert Ros, Dario Anselmetti, Jochen Mattay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Two examples of artificial supramolecular host-guest systems derived from resorc[4]arenes (calix[n]arenes based on resorcinol) and ammonium ions as guests have been studied by atomic force microscopy (AFM). For the first time, real single-molecule events have been determined for this type of supramolecular complexes and off-rates as well as molecular parameters of single-molecule aggregates such as the depths of the binding pocket (molecular length parameter) could be measured by applying the methods of dynamic force spectroscopy. In addition, this technique was also applied to differentiate between the two states (open and closed) of a photoswitchable resorc[4]arene-anthracene tweezer. An investigation of the exchange rates of various complexes in the gas phase by means of Fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance (FTICR) mass spectrometry confirmed the results of the AFM study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2247-2259
Number of pages13
JournalPure and Applied Chemistry
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Photoswitches
  • Resorc[4]arenes
  • Single-molecule processes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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