The synthesis and photochromic properties of novel 2,2-diarylnaphthopyrans were described. Significantly, the nanostructured architecture through two-component self-assembly of a photochromic naphthopyran and an asymmetric biphenyl was determined by X-ray diffraction. The structure motifs of nanocavities were formed by Cl⋯O interactions and Ar-H⋯Cl hydrogen bonds among the photochromic naphthopyran molecules. It was further shown by TEM that the dimensions of cavity structures were up to nanometer level, which provides the potential to capture useful nanoscale entities and control photochromism in organic materials. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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