Chirality Transfer from Chiral Monoamines to an <i>m</i>‑Phthalic Diamide-Linked Zinc Bisporphyrinate with a Benzylamide Substituent

An <i>m</i>-phthalic diamide-linked bisporphyrin with a benzylamide substituent has been designed and synthesized. It has two types of carbonyl groups. In the solution of this zinc bisporphyrinate, these carbonyl groups are involved in the formation of two different Zn–O coordination interactions: one is formed between neighboring zinc bisporphyrinates; another is formed within zinc bisporphyrinate. The chirality sensing abilities of this zinc porphyrinate to a number of chiral monoamines have been examined. When zinc bisporphyrinate was mixed with a series of chiral monoamines, the signs of the circular dichroism spectra for the chiral monoamines of the same handedness with an aryl group as the substituent are just opposite to those with an alkyl group as the substituent. NMR studies reveal that stepwise coordinations lead to 1:1 and 1:2 host–guest complexes. The structure of the 1:1 host–guest complex was confirmed by crystallography, it is the first time that a 1:1 host–guest complex formed between zinc bisporphyrinate and a chiral monoamine has been crystallographically characterized. The structure reveals that there is an intramolecular hydrogen bond between the amide oxygen and the coordinated NH<sub>2</sub>. We further investigated the chirality transfer mechanism by density functional theory calculations. Our studies suggest that the interactions between the linker and guests in this bisporphyrin system are crucial in the chirality transfer process, and the nature of the bulkiest substituent of chiral monoamines makes a difference. For R-type guests, with an alkyl group, the steric repulsion makes the conformer A more energetically favorable, which leads to the anticlockwise twist and negative Cotton effect. However, with an aryl group, the π–π interaction makes the conformer B more energetically favorable, which leads to the clockwise twist and positive Cotton effect.