L-Tryptophan-modified β-cyclodextrin (L-Trp-β-CD) has been synthesized and its molecular recognition behavior investigated through fluorescence and circular dichroism spectrometry, as well as fluorescence lifetime measurement in the presence and absence of various alcohols as guest molecules. Employing the indolyl group as a spectral probe, spectrofluorometric and spectropolarimetric titrations have been performed in aqueous phosphate buffer solution at pH 7.20 to calculate the complex stability constants for 1:1 inclusion complexation of L-Trp-β-CD with several series of alcohols at 25 °C. The results obtained indicate that L-Trp-β-CD can recognize not only size/shape and hydrophobicity but also the enantiomeric and geometrical isomers of the guest alcohols, showing a 230-fold molecular selectivity (13.5 kJ mol-1) for 2-adamantanol over cyclopentanol among the cyclic alcohols examined. Moderate enantiomeric selectivities of 1.2 and 1.9 for (-)-isomers of borneol and menthol, respectively, and geometrical selectivity of 2.0 for geraniol over nerol have also been observed.
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