Any of a class of organic compounds whose molecules are large rings containing a number of ether linkages.
- In the example in the Scheme below, controlled polycondensation is achieved by using a low concentration of a crown ether to solublise a solid potassium benzoate initiator before reaction with a growing polymer chain in the liquid phase.
- When a crown ether attached to their entire compound recognizes a particular functional group, like an ammonium ion, the whole system can contract or elongate (kind of like a ‘nanoscale molecular muscle’).
- Further studies of these aspects will help us to get better understanding of the phenomenon and might prove useful for explaining pharmacological effects of the crown ether superfamily at the molecular level.
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