Functionalised clathrochelate complexes as supramolecular building blocks

The work presented in this thesis entails the synthesis and characterisation of new iron(II) tris(dioxime) clathrochelate complexes functionalised with apical capping groups suitable for supramolecular applications, and their subsequent incorporation into self-assembled structures. These complexes possess a number of desirable characteristics as supramolecular building blocks, such as their synthetic accessibility and broad scope for structural and functional modification, which are highlighted throughout. Chapter 1 introduces certain key concepts and background literature relevant to this thesis. Clathrochelate-based 4,4'-bipyridyl metalloligands are presented in Chapter 2. Simple complexes bearing 4-pyridyl capping groups were prepared from commercially available starting materials and their potential as building blocks for supramolecular architectures demonstrated through the preparation of a discrete molecular square and a 3D coordination polymer (CP). Furthermore, bent and extended linear 4,4'-bipyridyl metalloligands up to 5.4 nm in length were prepared by two distinct homologation strategies. Clathrochelate-based 3,3'-bipyridyl metalloligands are presented in Chapter 3. Simple complexes were prepared from commercially available starting materials and subsequently combined with Pd(II) ions to give unprecedented [Pd6L12]12+ octahedral cage structures by coordination-driven self-assembly. These assemblies were shown to bind the large, non-coordinating anion BPh4- in aqueous solvent mixtures. Furthermore, linear and bent bis(clathrochelate) complexes bearing 3-pyridyl apical capping groups were also prepared by a one-pot approach. Clathrochelate complexes bearing carboxylic acid-functionalised capping groups are presented in Chapter 4. Ditopic and tetratopic metalloligands were synthesised in good yields. A heterometallic 2D CP was prepared through combination of Zn(II) ions with a clathrochelate complex functionalised with phenyl-4-carboxylic acid groups and the structure of this material determined by single crystal X-ray diffraction. Clathrochelates bearing functional groups suitable for imine-based self-assembly are presented in Chapter 5. Complexes functionalised with amine or aldehyde moieties as well as complexes functionalised with 3-pyridine-4-carboxaldehyde groups, were prepared in either one or two steps. Preliminary investigations into the preparation of metal-organic cage architectures through a well-established subcomponent self-assembly approach combining imine-based DCC and coordination-driven self-assembly gave promising results, including the synthesis of an [Fe4L6]8+ cage, which was characterised by single crystal X-ray crystallography.


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