Pillararenes trimer with particularly designed structural geometry and excellent capacity of recognizing guest molecules is a very efficient and attractive building block for the fabrication of advanced self-assembled materials. Pillararenes trimers could be prepared via both covalent and noncovalent bonds. The classic organic synthesis reactions such as click reaction, palladium-catalyzed coupling reaction, amidation, esterification, and aminolysis are employed to build covalent bonds and integrate three pieces of pillararenes subunits together into the “star-shaped” trimers and linear foldamers. Alternatively, pillararenes trimers could also be assembled in the form of host-guest inclusions and mechanically interlocked molecules via noncovalent interactions, and during those procedures, pillararenes units contribute the cavity for recognizing guest molecules and act as a “wheel” subunit, respectively. By fully utilizing the driving forces such as host-guest interactions, charge transfer, hydrophobic, hydrogen bonding, and C–H…
π and π–π stacking interactions, pillararenes trimers-based supramolecular self-assemblies provide a possibility in the construction of multi-dimensional materials such as vesicular and tubular aggregates, layered networks, as well as frameworks. Interestingly, those assembled materials exhibit interesting external stimuli responsiveness to e.g., variable concentrations, changed pH values, different temperature, as well as the addition/removal of competition guests and ions. Thus, they could further be used for diverse applications such as detection, sorption, and separation of significant multi-analytes including metal cations, anions, and amino acids.
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