Indexed on: 08 Oct '09Published on: 08 Oct '09Published in: Chemical Communications
This feature article reviews dimeric metalloporphyrin hosts employed as chirality probes in chiral recognition processes involving synthetic compounds and natural products. Upon formation of a chiral host-guest supramolecular complex between an achiral bis-metalloporphyrin derivative and a chiral non-racemic guest, a CD response occurs in the porphyrin spectral region, which is diagnostic of the guest's absolute configuration. Several bis-porphyrin hosts used in the stereochemical investigation of organic compounds are described and the scope of their application as chirality probes critically assessed. The review encompasses the description of structural features of the host-guest complexes, the nature of the chirality transfer mechanism and the practical application in solving stereochemical problems. In particular, with reference to the method based on bis-porphyrin tweezers, we describe recent advances based on the use of molecular modeling, which have broadened the applicability of the tweezer methodology and allowed extraction of deeper structural information contained in the experimental CD data.