Homochiral porous nanosheets for enantiomer sieving

Bo Sun, Yongju Kim, Yanqiu Wang, Huaxin Wang, Jehan Kim, Xin Liu, Myongsoo Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)


Protein pores are highly specific in binding to chiral substrates and in catalysing stereospecific reactions, because their active pockets are asymmetric and stereoselective 1,2 . Chiral binding materials from molecular-level pores with high specificity have not been achieved because of problems with pore deformation and blocking 3 . A promising solution is the self-assembly of single sheets where all pores are exposed to the environment, for example as metal-organic frameworks 4, polymers 5,6 or non-covalent aromatic networks 7-10, but, typically, the pores are distant from the internal cavities with chirality. Here, we report the synthesis of homochiral porous nanosheets achieved by the 2D self-assembly of non-chiral macrocycles, with open/closed pore switching. Pore chirality is spontaneously induced by a twisted stack of dimeric macrocycles. The porous 2D structures can serve as enantiomer sieving membranes that exclusively capture a single enantiomer in a racemic mixture solution, with uptake capacity greater than 96%. Moreover, the entrapped guests inside the pores can be pumped out by pore closing triggered by external stimuli. This strategy could provide new opportunities for controlled molecule release, as well as for artificial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)599-6074
Number of pages5476
JournalNature Materials
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jul 1
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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