Journal article Open Access
Macrocyclizations in exceptionally good yields were observed during the self-condensation of N-benzylated phenyl p-aminobenzoates in the presence of LiHMDS to yield three-membered cyclic aramides that adopt a triangular shape. An ortho-alkyloxy side chain on the N-benzyl protecting group is necessary for the macrocyclization to occur. Linear polymers are formed exclusively in the absence of this Li-chelating group. A model that explains the lack of formation of other cyclic congeners and the demand for an N-(o-alkoxybenzyl) protecting group is providedon the basis of DFT calculations.High-resolution AFM imaging of the prepared molecular triangles on a calcite(10.4) surface shows individual molecules arranged in groups of four due to strong surface templating effects and hydrogen bonding between the molecular triangles.