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In an article just published by the Journal of the American Chemical Society, researchers at the Homogeneous, Supramolecular and Bio-inspired Catalysis group present metal-ligand nanospheres that can bind fullerenes. These nanospheres thus enable an effective and versatile method to generate singlet oxygen in aqueous as well as organic reaction media using white LED light. They also hold potential for clinical photodynamic therapy treatment of tumours.

Graphical abstract image depicing the nanospheres.
Image: HIMS/HomKat


Singlet oxygen is a potent oxidant with major applications in organic synthesis and medicinal treatment. An efficient way to produce singlet oxygen is the photochemical generation by fullerenes which exhibit ideal thermal and photochemical stability. In this contribution we describe readily accessible M6L12 nanospheres with unique binding sites for fullerenes located at the windows of the nanospheres. Up to four C70 can be associated with a single nanosphere, presenting an efficient method for fullerene extraction and application. Depending on the functionality located on the outside of the sphere, they act as vehicles for 1O2 generation in organic or in aqueous media using white LED light. Excellent productivity in 1O2 generation and consecutive oxidation of 1O2 acceptors using C70⊂[Pd6L12], C60⊂[Pd6L12] or fullerene soot extract was observed. The methodological design principles allow preparation and application of highly effective multifullerene binding spheres.

Publication details

Eduard O. Bobylev, David A. Poole III, Bas de Bruin, and Joost N.H. Reek: M6L12 Nanospheres with Multiple C70 Binding Sites for 1O2 Formation in Organic and Aqueous Media J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, publication date: 17 August, 2022. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c05507

See also

Homogeneous, Supramolecular and Bio-inspired Catalysis group