Entrapment of a linear water pentamer into a uranyl-salophen dimer in the solid state

In the solid state, uranyl-salophen complex 1, decorated with bipyridyl sidearms, self-assembles from moist acetonitrile into dimeric species displaying a confined water pentamer, as observed by X-ray diffraction on single crystals. The linear water cluster is incarcerated within the dimeric cavity by coordination to the Lewis acidic uranyl centres and by a network of hydrogen bonds established with the pyridinic nitrogen atoms on the sidearms.