Supramolecular chemistry

We study the reactivity of chemical species arrested in supramolecular cavities or interligand and interparticle spaces. We also develop new colloidal and supramolecular systems and use them in molecular recognition.


We work mainly with cucurbit[n]uril and pillar[n]arene hosts. Recently, we demonstrated an autocatalytic 'relay' reaction triggered by cucurbit[6]uril host:



Sashuk, V.,* Butkiewicz, H., Fiałkowski, M., Danylyuk, O.* Triggering autocatalytic reaction by host-guest interactions. Chem. Commun., 2016, 52, 4191-4194.


In our lab, we also synthesized pillar[4]pyridinium, the first member of a new family of macrocycles, pillar[n]pyridiniums. It is a cyclic tetramer with a highly symmetric strained structure and electron-deficient cavity that recognizes fluoride in water:




Kosiorek, S., Rosa, B., Boinski, T., Butkiewicz, H., Szymański, M.P., Danylyuk, O., Szumna, A.,* Sashuk, V.*  Pillar[4]pyridinium: a square-shaped molecular box.

Chem. Commun., 2017, 53, 13320-13323. Cover image


Just recently, we reported on yet another representative of pillar[n]pyridinium family - pillar[6]pyridinium. It has a twice bigger cavity than pillar[4]pyridinium and it selectively binds benzene carboxylic acids either inside or outside the cavity depending on the distribution of electric charge:



Kosiorek, S., Butkiewicz, H., Danylyuk, O., Sashuk, V.*  Pillar[6]pyridinium: a hexagonally-shaped molecular box that selectively recognizes anionic species.

Chem. Commun., 2018, 54, 6316-6319.