Formation of a hydrogen-bonded heptazine framework by self-assembly of melem into a hexagonal channel structure

  • Makowski S
  • Köstler P
  • Schnick W
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Self-assembly of melem C(6)N(7)(NH(2))(3) in hot aqueous solution leads to the formation of hydrogen-bonded, hexagonal rosettes of melem units surrounding infinite channels with a diameter of 8.9 Å. The channels are filled with strongly disordered water molecules, which are bound to the melem network through hydrogen bonds. Single-crystals of melem hydrate C(6)N(7)(NH(2))(3)⋅xH(2)O (x≈2.3) were obtained by hydrothermal treatment of melem at 200 °C and the crystal structure (R ̅3c, a=2879.0(4), c=664.01(13) pm, V=4766.4(13)×10(6) pm(3), Z=18) was elucidated by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. With respect to the structural similarity to the well-known adduct between melamine and cyanuric acid, the composition of the obtained product was further analyzed by solid-state NMR spectroscopy. Hydrolysis of melem to cyameluric acid during syntheses at elevated temperatures could thus be ruled out. DTA/TG studies revealed that, during heating of melem hydrate, water molecules can be removed from the channels of the structure to a large extent. The solvent-free framework is stable up to 430 °C without transforming into the denser structure of anhydrous melem. Dehydrated melem hydrate was further characterized by solid-state NMR spectroscopy, powder X-ray diffraction, and sorption measurements to investigate structural changes induced by the removal of water from the channels. During dehydration, the hexagonal, layered arrangement of melem units is maintained whereas the formation of additional hydrogen bonds between melem entities requires the stacking mode of hexagonal layers to be altered. It is assumed that layers are shifted perpendicular to the direction of the channels, thereby making them inaccessible for guest molecules.

Author-supplied keywords

  • crystal structure
  • hydrogen bonds
  • self-assembly
  • solid-state structures
  • stacking interactions

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  • Sophia J. Makowski

  • Pia Köstler

  • Wolfgang Schnick

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