Cucurbituril-Based Reusable Nanocomposites for Efficient Molecular Encapsulation

Huifang Liu, Yange Luan, Bonhan Koo, Eun Yeong Lee, Jinmyoung Joo, Thuy Nguyen Thi Dao, Fei Zhao, Linlin Zhong, Kyusik Yun, Yong Shin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Cucurbituril (CB) has recently been employed in many fields, including water purification, solar cells, energy conversion, and biomedical engineering. However, the poor solubility of CB poses a serious obstacle to the further development of CB applications. To enhance the solubility of members of the CB family (CB[5-8]) by preventing self-aggregation in aqueous solutions, the synthesis of highly stable, rapid, and water-dispersible particles is presented in this paper based on a simple process that employs a nanocomposite composed of CB and amine-modified diatomaceous earth (DA). CB can be coated onto the surface of the DA and stabilized to produce a novel material that is useful for various applications. The nanocomposite (CB-DA) exhibited a strong host-guest interaction, exhibiting a more than 100-fold increase in efficiency and greater stability in dye and pathogen encapsulation as a result of the host-guest interaction, electrostatic interaction, and covalent bonding. We applied CB-DA to a commercialized filter system and were able to purify the water within 2 min. We believe that CB-DA will open a new avenue for the efficient utilization of supermolecular materials in aqueous molecular encapsulation applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5440-5448
Number of pages9
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Mar 4

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health & Welfare, Republic of Korea (HI16C-0272-010016) and by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning (MSIP) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) (2017R1A2B4005288), Republic of Korea.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2019 American Chemical Society.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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