Star-shaped host molecules containing two, three, and four cholic acid moieties have been used to form inclusion complexes with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon probes (guests) varying in size from four (pyrene) to five (benzo(e)pyrene) and seven aromatic rings (coronene) and investigated by steady-state fluorescence measurements and fluorescence lifetime techniques. The results indicated that these hydrophobic guest probes prefer to locate in the hydrophobic cavities formed by the host molecules in an aqueous solution. Further studies showed that the stoichiometric ratios of the complexes depended on the relative size of both the host and the guest. The complexes of 1:1 ratio (guest:host) were formed between pyrene and the host molecules of different sizes, while the complexes of 1:2 ratio (guest:host) were found for coronene in all cases. For benzo(e)pyrene with an intermediate size, the complexes with 1:1 and 1:2 ratios (guest:host) were formed depending on the relative sizes of the host molecules. The stability of the inclusion complexes was observed to change with the solvent polarity, indicative of an adaptation of the hydrophobicity of the host pockets to the polarity of the solvent. The formation of the complexes was driven by the solvophobic interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry