Cucurbiturils are macrocyclic molecules made of glycoluril (=C4H2N4O2=) monomers linked by methylene bridges (-CH2-). The oxygen atoms are located along the edges of the band and are tilted inwards, forming a partly enclosed cavity. The name is derived from the resemblance of this molecule with a pumpkin of the family of Cucurbitaceae.
Cucurbiturils have been used by chemists for various applications, including drug delivery, asymmetric synthesis, molecular switching, and dye tuning.
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