Tetrathiafulvalene (TTF) has been extensively explored as a π-electron donor in supramolecular systems. Over the last two decades substantial advances have been made in terms of constructing elaborate architectures based on TTF and in exploiting the resulting systems in the context of supramolecular host-guest recognition. The inherent electron-donating character of TTF derivatives has led to their use in the construction of highly efficient optoelectronic materials, optical sensors, and electron-transfer ensembles. TTFs are also promising candidates for the development of the so-called “functional materials” that might see use in a range of modern technological applications. Novel synthetic strategies, coupled with the versatility inherent within the TTF moiety, are now allowing the architecture of TTF-based systems to be tuned precisely and modified for use in specific purposes. In this critical review, we provide a “state-of-the-art” overview of research involving TTF-based macrocyclic systems with a focus on their use in supramolecular host-guest recognition, as components in non-covalent electron transfer systems, and in the construction of “molecular machines”.
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