Counterion effect on sulfonatocalix[n]arene recognition

Luis Garcia-Rio, Nuno Basílio, Vitor Francisco

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Sulfonatocalixarenes, like other ionic receptors, possess counterions that can affect the molecular recognition process. In the present review it is shown that the competitive effect of the alkaline cations frequently used as counterions determines not only the magnitude of the external guest association constant, but also the stoichiometry of the complexes. Experimental evidences are shown about the interaction of the counterions with sulfonatocalixarene, allowing to quantify its association equilibrium constants. The counterions recognition will be a competitive process that must be taken into account when investigating the interaction of calixarenes with an external guests. When the external guest is a neutral molecule it will be possible to form ternary complexes where the counterion shows a competitive and cooperative effect. By increasing the size of the receptor, sulfonatocalix[6] and sulfonatocalix[8]arene, the complexity of the system is increased due to the formation of counterion complexes with stoichiometries 1:1 and 1:2. In the presence of an external guest, the formation of heteroternary complexes with 1:1:1 stoichiometries including a counterion and an organic cation will be possible.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-37
JournalPure and Applied Chemistry
Issue number1
Early online date31 May 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020
Event24th IUPAC International Conference on Physical Organic Chemistry (ICPOC 24) - Faro, Portugal
Duration: 1 Jul 20186 Jul 2018


  • calixarenes
  • host-guest chemistry
  • ICPOC-24
  • supramolecular chemistry


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