Cucurbiturils as Reaction Containers for Photocycloaddition of Olefins

Mahesh Pattabiraman, Jayaraman Sivaguru, V. Ramamurthy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


The [2+2] photocycloaddition (PCA [2+2]) of alkenes is one of the most synthetically useful photoreactions. It is a convenient one-step reaction that is useful for generating substituted cyclobutanes, polymers, and biologically relevant molecules. However, the reaction efficiency is limited by its bimolecular nature requiring encounter between two reactants within the narrow window of excited state lifetime of the photoactive alkene, and competition from the unimolecular photoisomerization. Our groups have utilized macrocyclic cavitands, especially cucurbiturils(CB), to confine two alkene molecules within their cavities and steer them towards a single dimer regio- and stereoselectively. Although, primarily the review focuses on photocycloaddition within CBs, such reactions in closely related cavitands such as cyclodextrins (CD) and calixarenes (CA) are also briefly mentioned to provide a comparison with CBs. Studies on photocycloaddition of olefins within CB by other research groups are also briefly highlighted. A mechanistic model, with ability to predict the nature of the dimer product formed within the above reaction containers is included.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-275
Number of pages12
JournalIsrael Journal of Chemistry
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 2018


  • Cavitands
  • Cucurbituril
  • Host-guest complex
  • Photocycloaddition
  • Supramolecular chemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Cucurbiturils as Reaction Containers for Photocycloaddition of Olefins'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this