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Lone-Pair Activity in Lead(II) Complexes with Unsymmetrical Lariat Ethers

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journal contribution
posted on 10.07.2006, 00:00 by David Esteban-Gómez, Carlos Platas-Iglesias, Teresa Enríquez-Pérez, Fernando Avecilla, Andrés de Blas, Teresa Rodríguez-Blas
We have carried out a study about the structural effect of the lone-pair activity in lead(II) complexes with the unsymmetrical lariat ethers L7, L8, (L8−H)-, (L9−H)-, and (L10−H)-. All these ligands are octadentate and differ by the aromatic unit present in their backbones:  pyridine, phenol, phenolate, thiophenolate, and pyrrolate, respectively. In these lead(II) complexes, the receptor may adopt two possible syn conformations, depending on the disposition of the pendant arms over the crown moiety fragment. The conformation where the pendant arm holding the imine group is placed above the macrocyclic chain containing two ether oxygen atoms has been denoted as I, whereas the term II refers to the conformation in which such pendant arm is placed above the macrocyclic chain containing the single oxygen atom. Compounds of formula [Pb(L7)](ClO4)2 (1) and [Pb(L8−H)](ClO4) (2) were isolated and structurally characterized by X-ray diffraction analyses. The crystal structure of 1 adopts conformation I and shows the lead(II) ion bound to the eight available donor atoms of the bibracchial lariat ether in a holodirected geometry, whereas the geometry of 2 is best described as hemidirected, with the receptor adopting conformation II. The five systems [Pb(L7)]2+, [Pb(L8)]2+, [Pb(L8−H)]+, [Pb(L9−H)]+, and [Pb(L10−H)]+ were characterized by means of density functional theory calculations (DFT) performed by using the B3LYP model. An analysis of the natural bond orbitals (NBOs) indicates that the Pb(II) lone-pair orbital remains almost entirely s in character in the [Pb(L7)]2+ complexes, whereas in [Pb(L8−H)]+, the Pb(II) lone pair is polarized by a certain 6p contribution. The reasons for the different roles of the Pb(II) lone pair in compounds 1 and 2 as well as in the related model compounds are discussed. Our results point to the presence of a charged donor atom in the ligand (such as a phenolate oxygen atom, pyrrolate nitrogen atom, or even thiophenolate sulfur atom) favoring hemidirected geometries.