Catalysis is among the core research fields in chemistry. Nowadays, with the increasing consumption of the traditional non-renewable fossil resources, we are in urgent need to build high efficient matter catalytic conversion processes for green and sustainable chemistry. In the past decades, the tremendous progress in the area of supramolecular chemistry has stimulated the field of catalysis to implement supramolecular strategies and has led to the emergence of the field of supramolecular catalysis. Applying supramolecular principles on catalysis can not only provide a variety of non-covalent tools to modify the existed catalysts for better performance and to better disclose catalytic mechanism, but also enable to assemble new catalysts and build complex catalytic systems on demand. With the success it can lead to better understanding on catalytic processes, the foundation of new catalysts and new catalytic reactions and hence the establishment of new matter transform pathways.
Our interests on this regard are devoted to the controlled assembly and desired non-covalent modification of given catalysts and reaction species (substrates, additives and etc.) for better catalytic performance. Novel covalent and assembled macrocyclic hosts are tailor-made to intergrate specific catalytic functionalities and binding groups and so as to create unique confined catalytic nano-space. The special local microenvironment within the confined macrocyclic cavity would allow mimic some function characteristics of the enzyme binding pocket including desolvation, substrate destabilization and transition-state stabilization, and hence benefit the catalytic conversions. Meanwhile, those successful principles obtained in supramolecular transition-metal catalysis, such as template-directed assembly, substrate preorganization and cofactor catalysis, are also taken into account for the design of such novel supramolecular catalysis systems. Currently these systems are mainly applied to probe organocatalysis with the aims for better catalytic activity and stereoselectivity, and extraordinary reactivity.