Macrocyclic Multicenter Complexes of Nickel and Copper of Increasing Complexity



Multicenter (bi-, tri-, and tetranuclear) tetraazamacrocyclic complexes were self-assembled from Ni and Cu tetraazamacrocyclic mononuclear units and α,ω-diamines as building blocks. The structures of all compounds studied were proved by spectroscopic methods (ESI MS and NMR spectroscopy). Electrochemical experiments revealed reversible one-electron electrode processes at each of the Ni2+ and Cu2+ centers with formation of metal cations in oxidation state +3. Long linkers allow bi- and trinuclear complexes with noninteracting metal centers to be obtained. In the case of the short linkers (e.g. ethylenediamine) higher, trinuclear species are formed as major product. The structures of the bis- and tris-macrocyclic systems were confirmed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction. The tris-macrocyclic systems form cations in the shape of triangles partially filled with counterions and solvent molecules. The cations form positively charged layers, which interact in the crystal lattice with the neighboring negatively charged layers of anions. In solution, the trinuclear complexes exhibit strong host–guest interactions with 9,10-dimethyltriptycene due to complementarity of shape and size of this guest molecule. The association constants were determined by NMR spectroscopy and voltammetry, and very good agreement was obtained. The structural flexibility of the tetranuclear complex with long linkers allows for attractive interactions between the metal-complexing macrocycles that result in folding of the molecule. On the contrary, no folding is possible in the case of short linkers consisting of two CH2 groups.