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Axial Ligand Coordination in Sterically Strained Vanadyl Porphyrins: Synthesis, Structure, and Properties

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posted on 03.11.2008, 00:00 by Sudip Kumar Ghosh, Ranjan Patra, Sankar Prasad Rath
A hitherto unknown family of six-coordinate vanadyl porphyrins of the sterically crowded, nonplanar 2,3,7,8,12,13,17,18-octaethyl-5,10,15,20-tetranitroporphyrin incorporating axial ligand L [where L is pyridine, tetrahydrofuran (THF), or methanol (MeOH)] has been isolated as VO(tn-OEP)(L) in the solid phase for the first time and also structurally characterized. The presence of four electron-withdrawing, bulky nitro groups at the meso positions of vanadyl octaethylporphyrins severely distorts the porphyrin macrocycles and significantly enhances the affinity for the axial ligands, where even weak σ-donating ligands, such as MeOH, bind strongly enough to be isolable in the solid phase and that too under the offset effects of the macrocyclic distortions. Thus, the axial ligand affinity is influenced by both the electronic and conformational effect, which cannot be separated completely in this series. The solid-state magnetic measurements and their typical electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectrum show the presence of a single, unpaired electron, consistent with V(IV) formulation. The VO stretching frequency for VO(tn-OEP) occurs as a sharp, strong peak at 1008 cm−1, which is consistent with five-coordinate vanadyl porphyrins, while VO(tn-OEP)(L) displays a strong band at lower wavenumbers. The downshift in ν(VO) upon axial coordination increases with increasing donor strength of the axial ligands; for pyridine, the downshift is 30 cm−1, while for THF and MeOH, the downshifts are nearly 18 cm−1. X-ray structure determinations authenticate axial coordination in a purely saddle-distorted porphyrin macrocycle for all of the complexes reported here in which V−Np distances are significantly shorter, while the porphyrin cores have been expanded on axial ligand coordination. As a result, vanadium atoms are more inplane than in a five-coordinate species. The binding of L does not change the spin or metal oxidation states (VIV, d1-system) of the complexes; therefore, the changes observed are truly the reflections of axial ligand coordination. Electrochemical data obtained from cyclic voltammetric studies reveal that the complexes are much easier to reduce (by ∼1200 mV) but more difficult to oxidize (by ∼500 mV) as compared to nearly planar VO(OEP). The complexes undergo two one-electron oxidations due to π-cation radical and dication formation and three one-electron reductions. The first two reductions are because of π-anion radical and dianion formation, while the third quasi-reversible reduction is assigned to a metal-centered process (VIV → VIII). These results can be useful for identifying the interaction of the vanadyl porphyrins with the biological targets in their reported involvement in potent insulinomimetic activity and in anti-HIV agents.