American Chemical Society
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Copper(I) Complexes of Tripodal Tris(imidazolyl) Ligands:  Potential Mimics of the Cu(A) Site of Hydroxylase Enzymes

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posted on 2020-04-02, 15:06 authored by Lei Zhou, Douglas Powell, Kenneth M. Nicholas
Copper(I) complexes of tripodal tris(N-methyl-4,5-diphenyl-imidazolyl)methane ligands, N3CR (1ac, R = OH, OMe, H), have been prepared as models for the Cu(A) site of copper hydroxylase enzymes. In the absence of additional donors, the ligands 1 react with [Cu(CH3CN)4]PF6 (2) to produce dinuclear complexes [(N3CR)2Cu2](PF6)2 (3) in which the tripodal ligands bridge two trigonal Cu centers; the structures of 3b and 3c are established by X-ray diffraction. Mononuclear adducts [(N3CR)CuL]Z are produced with L = acetonitrile (4), carbon monoxide (5), and t-BuNC (6, 7). The carbonyl complexes 5 are in dynamic equilibrium with the dimeric complexes 3, but 5c (R = H) can be isolated. The structures of the isocyanide derivatives depend critically on the tripod methane substituent, R. Thus, the X-ray structures of 6 (R = OMe) and 7 (R = H) show trigonal and tetrahedral geometries, respectively, with bi- or tridentate coordination of the tripod. A trinuclear complex [Cu3(N3COH)2(t-BuNC)2](PF6)3 (8) is formed from N3COH (1a) which features both three-coordinate and two-coordinate Cu atoms and bidentate tripod coordination. Reactions of dioxygen with dinuclear 3c or mononuclear [(N3CR)CuL]Z are sluggish, producing from the latter in acetone [(N3CH)CuII(L)(L‘)](PF6)2 (9, L = acetone, L‘ = H2O).