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Rotaxane-Based Transition Metal Complexes: Effect of the Mechanical Bond on Structure and Electronic Properties

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posted on 18.12.2018, 00:00 authored by Martina Cirulli, Amanpreet Kaur, James E. M. Lewis, Zhihui Zhang, Jonathan A. Kitchen, Stephen M. Goldup, Maxie M. Roessler
Early work by Sauvage revealed that mechanical bonding alters the stability and redox properties of their original catenane metal complexes. However, despite the importance of controlling metal ion properties for a range of applications, these effects have received relatively little attention since. Here we present a series of tri-, tetra-, and pentadentate rotaxane-based ligands and a detailed study of their metal binding behavior and, where possible, compare their redox and electronic properties with their noninterlocked counterparts. The rotaxane ligands form complexes with most of the metal ions investigated, and X-ray diffraction revealed that in some cases the mechanical bond enforces unusual coordination numbers and distorted arrangements as a result of the exclusion of exogenous ligands driven by the sterically crowded binding sites. In contrast, only the noninterlocked equivalent of the pentadentate rotaxane CuII complex could be formed selectively, and this exhibited compromised redox stability compared to its interlocked counterpart. Frozen-solution EPR data demonstrate the formation of an interesting biomimetic state for the tetradentate CuII rotaxane, as well as the formation of stable NiI species and the unusual coexistence of high- and low-spin CoII in the pentadentate framework. Our results demonstrate that readily available mechanically chelating rotaxanes give rise to complexes the noninterlocked equivalent of which are inaccessible, and that the mechanical bond augments the redox behavior of the bound metal ion in a manner analogous to the carefully tuned amino acid framework in metalloproteins.