Assembly-enhanced molecular recognition of calix[6]arene

<p>We comparatively investigated the molecular recognition of the amphiphilic derivatives of <i>p</i>-sulfonatocalix[<i>n</i>]arenes (SC<i>n</i>A-Rs, <i>n</i> = 4 and 6) both in aqueous solution and at the interface of liposome. When the recognition events transfer from aqueous solution to the self-assembled interface, the binding capability of SC6A-R increases drastically, but not for SC4A-R. It originates from the conformational regulation that the complicated conformation of SC6A-R in aqueous solution was immobilized to the cone shape upon embedding SC6A-R into the liposome. The resulting cone shape is privileged to accommodate guests into its cavity. Such an assembly-enhanced molecular recognition strategy could be transferable to other macrocyclic, acyclic, artificial, and natural receptors with conformational flexibility.</p>