Supramolecular Chemistry

A domain of Chemistry which focuses on the chemical systems that are made up of molecules and deals with the weaker non-covalent bond between molecules. It is a sub-group of physical organic chemistry wherein the understanding of the physics behind non-covalent bonding is on focus. The study of non-covalent interactions is important to understand many biological processes like cell structure formation which depends upon these bonds. Biological systems are the basis of Supramolecular Chemistry. The forces which come under non-covalent interactions also known as secondary interactions between molecules are hydrogen bonding, metal co-ordination, hydrophobic forces, Van der Waals forces, Pi-Pi interactions and electrostatic forces. Host-Guest Chemistry and Self Assembly are the two broad categories of Supramolecular Chemistry. Supramolecular Chemistry demonstrates the following important concepts which are,

  • Folding
  • Molecular recognition
  • Mechanically-interlocked molecular architectures
  • Dynamic Covalent Chemistry

Supramolecular Chemistry is often referred as “The Chemistry beyond the molecule” as it revolves around the intermolecular attractions which covers the structure and functions of the entities formed by the association of two or more chemical species. Molecular recognition is achieved by the non-covalent bonds that exists between the molecules which aids in specific binding involved in several biological systems like Enzyme and Ligand binding, molecular transport, genetic information and processing, protein assembly. Host-guest chemistry works on the principle of lock and key mechanism wherein a larger molecule behaves as a host to which the smaller molecule binds to. Self-assembly is the interaction between molecules via hydrogen bonds when there is no difference in size. DNA is one of the best example of Supramolecular Chemistry. The molecules store information in the form of structural peculiarities. Not only the combined action of molecules, but also the combined action of the characteristic parts of the same molecule is called “Supramolecular”. Major applications of Supramolecular Chemistry include the analysis of chemical compounds which are medically, technically and environmentally important. Supramolecular Chemistry attracts not only the Chemists, but also the Environmental Scientists, Biologists, Physicians, Bio-Chemists, Crystallographers. The complex biological molecules which are difficult to study can be easily isolated and quantified with the help of Supramolecular Chemistry

  • Biomimetics
  • Imprinting
  • Template-directed synthesis
  • Molecular machinery

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