The Macrocyclic chemistry of Cram, Lehn, and Pedersen in the 1970s fathered the supramolecular chemistry of today. The insights gained from their pioneering work with crown ethers, cryptands, and spherands have been valuable to many contemporary scientists. Tremendous advances in synthetic methodologies and macrocyclic structure exegesis have allowed the creation and characterization of macrocycles and surpramacrocycles that have been sequestered in the minds of creative chemists.
Supramolecular Chemistry deals with the chemistry of the noncovalent bond between molecules and/or ionic species. Inspired by processes in Nature, synthetic receptors mimic biological recognition and regulation processes, and they are applied in catalysis, sensing, and separation technologies. Important concepts advanced by supramolecular chemistry include molecular self-assembly, molecular folding, molecular recognition, host-guest chemistry, mechanically-interlocked molecular architectures, and dynamic covalent chemistry. The study of non-covalent interactions is crucial to understanding many biological processes that rely on these forces for structure and function. Biological systems are often the inspiration for supramolecular research.