Studies in Metallosupramolecular Chemistry
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
Metallosupramolecular chemistry involves the construction of nanoscale molecular assemblies by reacting metal atoms with bridging organic ligands. The metal atoms act as a type of molecular ‘glue’ binding together the organic ligands in specific orientations. Thus, appropriate combinations of metal ions and ligands lead to the controlled self-assembly of interesting one-, two- and three-dimensional molecular aggregates. This thesis details the preparation of a range of novel flexible bridging heterocyclic ligands using conventional organic synthesis, and then explores their reactions with a variety of transition metal precursors. By varying the nature of the organic ligand and the transition metal precursor, new and exciting supramolecular topologies and architectures can be formed. A total of forty-eight ligands were synthesised in this work, forty-seven of which are new compounds. The majority of the ligands synthesised were based around commercially available bisphenol cores. All forty-eight of the ligands had nitrogen heterocyclic groups as coordinating units. The ligands discussed in this thesis can be divided into three main sections. The first involves the synthesis and coordination chemistry of two-armed ligands based around the Bisphenol A, Bisphenol Z and Bisphenol AP cores. The second section describes the synthesis and coordination chemistry of the larger Bisphenol P and Bisphenol M based two-armed bridging ligands. The third section describes the synthesis and coordination chemistry of various multi-substituted ligands, including tripodal ligands based around a trisphenol core, four-armed ligands and six-armed ligands. The two-armed bisphenol based ligands proved very successful as synthons in metallosupramolecular chemistry and produced many products with a variety of different metal atoms. The complexes characterised included discrete dimeric products, coordination polymers and a number of helicates, including a dinuclear quadruply-stranded helicate. Multi-armed ligands are topical, because they have multiple coordination sites that are capable of binding and bridging multiple metal atoms. Such coordination can lead to the construction of cage-like species and complicated networks. A series of three-armed ligands based around a trisphenol core were synthesised with the intention to use these to form such species on coordination with appropriate metal salts. Indeed, one of the products of self-assembly was an interesting M₃L₂ cage. Various other multi-armed ligands were also investigated. The ligands and complexes in this thesis were characterised by a variety of structural techniques, such as ¹H NMR, ¹³C NMR, mass spectrometry, elemental analysis and X-ray crystallography when crystals were obtained. The crystal structures of twenty-seven ligands and forty-three complexes are described.