Assembled molecular face-rotating polyhedra to transfer chirality from two to three dimensions
In nature, protein subunits on the capsids of many icosahedral viruses form rotational patterns, and mathematicians also incorporate asymmetric patterns into faces of polyhedra. Chemists have constructed molecular polyhedra with vacant or highly symmetric faces, but very little is known about constructing polyhedra with asymmetric faces. Here we report a strategy to embellish a C3h truxene unit with rotational patterns into the faces of an octahedron, forming chiral octahedra that exhibit the largest molar ellipticity ever reported, to the best of our knowledge. The directionalities of the facial rotations can be controlled by vertices to achieve identical rotational directionality on each face, resembling the homo-directionality of virus capsids. Investigations of the kinetics and mechanism reveal thatnon-covalent interaction among the faces is essential to the facial homo-directionality.