Organoboron-Functionalization Enables the Hierarchical Assembly of Giant Polyoxometalate Nanocapsules

Shujun Li, Yanfang Zhou, Nana Ma, Jie Zhang, Zhiping Zheng, Carsten Streb, Xuenian Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The aggregation of molecular metal oxides into larger superstructures can bridge the gap between molecular compounds and solid-state materials. Here, we report that functionalization of polyoxotungstates with organo-boron substituents leads to giant polyoxometalate-based nanocapsules with dimensions of up to 4 nm. A “lock and key” mechanism enables the site-specific anchoring of aromatic organo-boronic acids to metal-functionalized Dawson anions [M3P2W15O62]9− (M=TaV or NbV), resulting in unique nanocapsules containing up to twelve POM units. Experimental and theoretical studies provide initial insights into the role of the organo-boron moieties and the metal-functionalized POMs for the assembly of the giant aggregates. The study therefore lays the foundations for the design of organo-POM-based functional nanostructures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8537-8540
Number of pages4
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number22
StatePublished - May 25 2020


  • boronic acid
  • organo-functionalization
  • polyoxometalate
  • self-assembly
  • supramolecular chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)


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