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Our research in ChemComm!

Efficient binding of environmentally and biologically important sulfate anion in aqueous solutions remains difficult and only a handful of efficient neutral receptors has been reported to date.
Now we show that simple, easily available diamidocarbazoles form robust 2 : 1 complexes with sulfate anion even in the presence of a large excess of water. An appropriate choice of side arms directs the assembly towards the formation of either an orthogonal or a biplane structure, both in solution and in the solid state.
Graphical Abstract - Chem. Commun. 2014