Synthesis and X‑ray Structures of Novel Macrocycles and Macrobicycles Containing N,N-Di(pyrrolylmethyl)‑N‑methylamine Moiety: Preliminary Anion Binding Study

The [2 + 2] Schiff base condensation reactions between the newly synthesized dialdehyde, N,N-di­(α-formylpyrrolyl-α-methyl)-N-methylamine), and ethylenediamine or p-phenylenediamine dihydrochloride readily afforded the 30- and 34-membered large size macrocycles in very high yields. Subsequent reduction reactions of these macrocycles with NaBH4 gave the corresponding saturated macrocyclic hexaamines in good yields. The analogous reaction of the new dialdehyde with a triamine molecule afforded the [3 + 2] Schiff base macrobicycle in high yield, which was then reduced by reaction with NaBH4 to give the saturated macrobicycle. All these compounds were characterized by spectroscopic methods. The anion binding properties of the saturated macrocycles having the ethylene and the phenylene linkers in CDCl3 were studied by NMR titration methods. Although they have similar pyrrolic and amine NH groups their binding properties are different and interesting, owing to the conformational flexibility or rigidness rendered by the ethylene or phenylene groups, respectively. The macrocycle having the ethylene linkers binds anions in a 1:1 fashion, while the other receptor having the phenylene linkers prefers to bind anions in a sequential 1:2 fashion and has a multiple equilibria between a 1:1 and a 1:2 complexes, as shown by their binding constants, curve fittings by EQNMR, and Job plots. The X-ray structures of the 1:2 methanol, the aqua and the benzoate anion complexes of the macrocycles show two cavities in which the guests are bound, correlating with the high affinity found for the formation of stable 1:2 complexes in solution. The X-ray structure showed that the macrobicycle Schiff base adopts an eclipsed paddle-wheel shaped conformation and exhibits an out-out configuration at the bridgehead nitrogen atoms.