Easily-Prepared Hydroxy-Containing Receptors Recognise Anions in Aqueous Media

<div>Despite their readily availability, O–H groups have received relatively little attention as anion recognition motifs. Here, we report two simple hydroxy-containing anion receptors that are prepared in two facile steps followed by anion exchange, without the need for chromatographic purification at any stage. These receptors contain a pyridinium bis(amide) motif as well as hydroxyphenyl groups, and bind mono- and divalent anions in 9:1 CD3CN:D2O, showing a selectivity preference for sulfate. Notably, a “model” receptor that does not contain hydroxy groups shows only very weak sulfate binding in this competitive solvent mixture.</div>