Cryptophane-A, comprised of two cyclotriguaiacylenes joined by three ethylene linkers, is a prototypal organic host molecule that binds reversibly to neutral small molecules via London forces. Of note are trifunctionalized, water-soluble cryptophane-A derivatives, which exhibit exceptional affinity for xenon in aqueous solution. In this paper, we report high-resolution X-ray structures of cryptophane-A and trifunctionalized derivatives in crown–crown and crown–saddle conformations, as well as in complexes with water, methanol, xenon or chloroform. Cryptophane internal volume varied by more than 20% across this series, which exemplifies 'induced fit' in a model host–guest system
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