Thermosalience in Macrocycle-Based Soft Crystals via Anisotropic Deformation of Disilanyl Architecture
We describe here the preparation of soft crystals using disilanyl macrocycle C4 possessing four p-phenylenes circularly connected by four flexible disilane bonds. Single crystals of C4 exhibited a reversible thermal single-crystal-to-single-crystal (SCSC) phase transition behavior between two crystal phases accompanied by remarkable mechanical motion (thermosalient effect), as revealed by thermal analyses and X-ray diffraction measurements. Detailed structural analyses implied that flexibility of the parallelogram disilanyl architecture and molecular packing mode via weak intermolecular interactions facilitated a concerted structural transformation (parallel crank motion) of macrocycles in the crystal, thus resulting in the SCSC phase transition accompanied by anisotropic shrinking/elongation of the cells to induce the thermosalient effect. This work explores a new area of organosilicon chemistry and presents the potential utility of disilanyl macrocycles as soft crystals.