The formation of inclusion complexes of the water-soluble p-sulfonatocalix[n]arenes,where n = 4 or 6, with the Chemical Warfare Agent (CWA) GD, or Soman, and commonly used dialkyl methylphosphonate simulants has been studied by experimental solution NMR methods and by Molecular Mechanics (MMFF) and semi-empirical (PM6) calculations. Complex formation in non-buffered and buffered solutions is driven by the hydrophobic effect, and complex stoichiometry determined as 1:1 for all host:guest pairs. Low affinity complexes (K assoc < 100 M−1) are observed for all guests, attributed to poor host–guest complementarity and the role of buffer cation species accounts for the low affinity of the complexes. Comparison of CWA and simulant behavior adds to understanding of CWA–simulant correlations and the challenges of simulant selection.
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- hydrophobic effect
- chemical warfare agent
- nerve agent
- inclusion complex