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Calixarenesare macrocycles composed of benzene rings meta linked to each other by one carbon atom. These exotic compounds can be used for a variety of purposes including metalleaching for environmental cleanup, surface technology, luminescent probes, nuclear waste treatment, among others. A variety of calixarenesexist, including azacalix[n]arenesthiocalix[n]arenes(where n = the number of benzene rings) and oxacalix[n]arenes; these macrocycles use nitrogen, sulfur and oxygen, respectively, as the atom whichlinks the benzene rings together. My research has focused on synthesizing oxacalix[6]arenes (“hexamer”) in high yield, which is a synthetic challenge because it is generally accepted that oxacalix[n>4]arenes will thermodynamically decompose to the oxacalix[4]arene (“tetramer”); i.e. heating the reaction mixture will yield the tetramer, not the hexamer. To generate the hexamer, “trimer”precursors have been synthesized, in the hopes of facilitating hexamer ring closure.


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