Novel tetracationic cyclophanes incorporating .pi.-electron poor organic compounds into their ring structures, as well as methods of making the cyclophanes, are provided. The cyclophanes are able to form electron donor-acceptor complexes with a variety of polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) ranging in size, shape, and electron density. Also provided are methods of using the cyclophanes in the sequestration of PAHs in liquid or gaseous samples, the separation of PAHs from liquid or gaseous samples, the detection of PAHs in liquid samples, and the exfoliation of graphene via pseudopolyrotaxane formation.
REFERENCE TO GOVERNMENT RIGHTS
This invention was made with government support under W911NF-10-1-0510 awarded by the Army Research Office; HDTRA1-08-1-0041 awarded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency; DE-SC0000989 and DE-SC0005462 awarded by the Department of Energy; CHE0924620 and DMR0520513 awarded by the National Science Foundation; and R01 CA133697 and U54 CA151880 awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The government has certain rights in the invention.