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Isoreticular Crystallization of Highly Porous Cubic Covalent Organic Cage Compounds

submitted on 28.02.2021, 14:57 and posted on 03.03.2021, 04:55 by Svetlana Ivanova, Eva Köster, Julian J. Holstein, Niklas Keller, Guido H. Clever, Thomas Bein, Florian Beuerle

Modular frameworks featuring well-defined pore structures in microscale domains establish tailor-made porous materials. For open molecular solids however, maintaining long-range order after desolvation is inherently challenging, since packing is usually governed by only a few supramolecular interactions. Here we report on two series of nanocubes obtained by co-condensation of two different hexahydroxy tribenzotriquinacenes (TBTQs) and benzene-1,4-diboronic acids (BDBAs) with varying linear alkyl chains in 2,5-position. nButyl groups at the apical position of the TBTQ vertices yielded soluble model compounds, which were analyzed by mass spectrometry and NMR spectroscopy. In contrast, methyl-substituted cages spontaneously crystallized as isostructural and highly porous solids with BET surface areas and pore volumes of up to 3426 m2 g−1 and 1.82 cm3 g−1. Single crystal X-ray diffraction and sorption measurements revealed an intricate cubic arrangement of alternating micro- and mesopores in the range of 0.97–2.2 nm that are fine-tuned by the alkyl substituents at the BDBA linker.


Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (BE4808/2-1)

Collaborative Research Network “Solar Technologies Go Hybrid” of the Bavarian Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts


Email Address of Submitting Author


University of Würzburg



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

There are no conflicts to declare.