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Unexpected Trends in the Stability and Dissociation Kinetics of Lanthanide(III) Complexes with Cyclen-Based Ligands across the Lanthanide Series

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journal contribution
posted on 01.05.2020, 16:41 by Zoltán Garda, Viktoria Nagy, Aurora Rodríguez-Rodríguez, Rosa Pujales-Paradela, Véronique Patinec, Goran Angelovski, Éva Tóth, Ferenc K. Kálmán, David Esteban-Gómez, Raphaël Tripier, Carlos Platas-Iglesias, Gyula Tircsó
We report a detailed study of the thermodynamic stability and dissociation kinetics of lanthanide complexes with two ligands containing a cyclen unit, a methyl group, a picolinate arm, and two acetate pendant arms linked to two nitrogen atoms of the macrocycle in either cis (1,4-H3DO2APA) or trans (1,7-H3DO2APA) positions. The stability constants of the Gd3+ complexes with these two ligands are very similar, with log KGdL values of 16.98 and 16.33 for the complexes of 1,4-H3DO2APA and 1,7-H3DO2APA, respectively. The stability constants of complexes with 1,4-H3DO2APA follow the usual trend, increasing from log KLaL = 15.96 to log KLuL = 19.21. However, the stability of [Ln­(1,7-DO2APA)] complexes decreases from log K = 16.33 for Gd3+ to 14.24 for Lu3+. The acid-catalyzed dissociation rates of the Gd3+ complexes differ by a factor of ∼15, with rate constants (k1) of 1.42 and 23.5 M–1 s–1 for [Gd­(1,4-DO2APA)] and [Gd­(1,7-DO2APA)], respectively. This difference is magnified across the lanthanide series to reach a 5 orders of magnitude higher k1 for [Yb­(1,7-DO2APA)] (1475 M–1 s–1) than for [Yb­(1,4-DO2APA)] (5.79 × 10–3 M–1 s–1). The acid-catalyzed mechanism involves the protonation of a carboxylate group, followed by a cascade of proton-transfer events that result in the protonation of a nitrogen atom of the cyclen unit. Density functional theory calculations suggest a correlation between the strength of the Ln–Ocarboxylate bonds and the kinetic inertness of the complex, with stronger bonds providing more inert complexes. The 1H NMR resonance of the coordinated water molecule in the [Yb­(1,7-DO2APA)] complex at 176 ppm provides a sizable chemical exchange saturation transfer effect thanks to a slow water exchange rate of (15.9 ± 1.6) × 103 s–1.