Hydrogen-bonded frameworks for molecular structure determination

Yuantao Li, Sishuang Tang, Anna Yusov, James Rose, André Nyberg Borrfors, Chunhua T. Hu, Michael D. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Single crystal X-ray diffraction is arguably the most definitive method for molecular structure determination, but the inability to grow suitable single crystals can frustrate conventional X-ray diffraction analysis. We report herein an approach to molecular structure determination that relies on a versatile toolkit of guanidinium organosulfonate hydrogen-bonded host frameworks that form crystalline inclusion compounds with target molecules in a single-step crystallization, complementing the crystalline sponge method that relies on diffusion of the target into the cages of a metal-organic framework. The peculiar properties of the host frameworks enable rapid stoichiometric inclusion of a wide range of target molecules with full occupancy, typically without disorder and accompanying solvent, affording well-refined structures. Moreover, anomalous scattering by the framework sulfur atoms enables reliable assignment of absolute configuration of stereogenic centers. An ever-expanding library of organosulfonates provides a toolkit of frameworks for capturing specific target molecules for their structure determination.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4477
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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