Phenanthroline Complexes Bearing Fused Dipyrrolylquinoxaline Anion Recognition Sites:  Efficient Fluoride Anion Receptors.

Novel anion recognition host molecules, tris-1,10-phenanthroline cobalt(III) and bis-2,2‘-bipyridine mono-1,10-phenanthroline ruthenium(II) complexes bearing fused dipyrrolylquinoxaline moieties have been synthesized. As determined by UV−vis spectroscopic and electrochemical studies, these metal complexes bind fluoride with high affinity in polar media both in absolute terms and relative to the metal-free phenanthroline dipyrrolylquinozaline precursor from which they are derived (fluoride is bound to the tris-1,10-phenanthroline cobalt(III) dipyrrolylquinoxaline system with a 1:1 binding constant of 54 000 M-1 in DMSO). The large observed binding constants are ascribed to two factors, (i) the presence of a phenanthroline-coordinated cationic charge that decreases the electron density on the pyrrole NH protons and (ii) pure electrostatic effects.