Interfacial Behavior and Film Patterning of Redox-Active Cationic Copper(II)-Containing Surfactants



Herein, we describe the synthesis and characterization of a novel series of single-tail amphiphiles Lmath image (Py=pyridine, Cn=C18, C16, C14, C10) and their copper(II)-containing complexes, which are of relevance for patterned films. The N-(pyridine-2-ylmethyl)alkyl-1-amine ligands and their complexes [CuIICl2(Lmath image)] (1), [CuIICl2(Lmath image)] (2), [CuIICl2(Lmath image)] (3), [CuIIBr2(Lmath image)] (4), [CuIIBr2(Lmath image)] (5), and [CuIIBr2(Lmath image)] (6) were synthesized, isolated, and characterized by means of mass spectrometry, IR and NMR spectroscopies, and elemental analysis. Complexes 1, 2, 3, and 6 had their molecular structure solved by X-ray diffraction methods, which showed that the local geometry around the metal center is distorted square planar. With the aim of using these species as precursors for redox-responsive films, an assessment of their electrochemical properties involved cyclic voltammetry in different solvents, with different supporting electrolytes and scan rates. Density functional theory calculations of relevant species in bulk and at interfaces were used to evaluate their electronic structure and dipole moments. The morphology and order of the resulting films at the air/water interface were studied by isothermal compression and Brewster angle microscopy. Biphasic patterned Langmuir films were observed for all complexes except 3 and 6, and dependence on the chain length and the nature of the halogen coligand determine the characteristics of the isotherms and their intricate topology. Complexes 3 and 6, which have shorter chain lengths, failed to exhibit organization. These results exemplify the first comprehensive study of the behavior of single-tail metallosurfactants, which are likely to lead to high-end technological applications based on their patterned films.