20 years ago in Chemistry in Britain

20 years ago in Chemistry in Britain 


On Christmas Eve 1986, Franz Kohnke, [working under Fraser Stoddart at Sheffield University, UK] isolated the macropolycycle (right) in 3.5 per cent yield. After a decade-long battle we had got the first inkling that 6-membered carbocyclic rings could be evolved by tandem Diels-Alder reactions into belt-like molecules. What a Christmas present! 

I have suggested, in the face of considerable opposition from Kohnke, that the macropolycycle should be called kohnkene after its maker.

Extracted from an article by Fraser Stoddart in Chemistry in Britain  (December 1988) 

Ed. This discovery (F H Kohnke  et al, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. Engl., 1987, 26 , 892) led to the development of the concept of ’Molecular Lego’.