Possible steric control of the relative strength of chelation enhanced fluorescence for zinc(II) compared to cadmium(II): metal ion complexing properties of tris(2-quinolylmethyl)amine, a crystallographic, UV-visible, and fluorometric study

Neil J Williams, Wei Gan, Joseph H Reibenspies, Robert D Hancock
Inorganic Chemistry 2009 February 16, 48 (4): 1407-15
The idea is examined that steric crowding in ligands can lead to diminution of the chelation enhanced fluorescence (CHEF) effect in complexes of the small Zn(II) ion as compared to the larger Cd(II) ion. Steric crowding is less severe for the larger ion and for the smaller Zn(II) ion leads to Zn-N bond length distortion, which allows some quenching of fluorescence by the photoinduced electron transfer (PET) mechanism. Some metal ion complexing properties of the ligand tris(2-quinolylmethyl)amine (TQA) are presented in support of the idea that more sterically efficient ligands, which lead to less M-N bond length distortion with the small Zn(II) ion, will lead to a greater CHEF effect with Zn(II) than Cd(II). The structures of [Zn(TQA)H(2)O](ClO(4))(2).1.5 H(2)O (1), ([Pb(TQA)(NO(3))(2)].C(2)H(5)OH) (2), ([Ag(TQA)(ClO(4))]) (3), and (TQA).C(2)H(5)OH (4) are reported. In 1, the Zn(II) is 5-coordinate, with four N-donors from the ligand and a water molecule making up the coordination sphere. The Zn-N bonds are all of normal length, showing that the level of steric crowding in 1 is not sufficient to cause significant Zn-N bond length distortion. This leads to the observation that, as expected, the CHEF effect in the Zn(II)/TQA complex is much stronger than that in the Cd(II)/TQA complex, in contrast to similar but more sterically crowded ligands, where the CHEF effect is stronger in the Cd(II) complex. The CHEF effect for TQA with the metal ions examined varies as Zn(II) > Cd(II) > Ni(II) > Pb(II) > Hg(II) > Cu(II). The structure of 2 shows an 8-coordinate Pb(II), with evidence of a stereochemically active lone pair, and normal Pb-N bond lengths. In 3, the Ag(I) is 5-coordinate, with four N-donors from the TQA and an oxygen from the perchlorate. The Ag(I) shows no distortion toward linear 2-coordinate geometry, and the Ag-N bonds fall slightly into the upper range for Ag-N bonds in 5-coordinate complexes. The structure of 4 shows the TQA ligand to be involved in pi-stacking between quinolyl groups from adjacent TQA molecules. Formation constants determined by UV-visible spectroscopy are reported in 0.1 M NaClO(4) at 25 degrees C for TQA with Zn(II), Cd(II), and Pb(II). When compared with other similar ligands, one sees that, as the level of steric crowding increases, the stability decreases most with the small Zn(II) ion and least with the large Pb(II) ion. This is in accordance with the idea that TQA has a moderate level of steric crowding and that steric crowding increases for TQA analogs tris(2-pyridylmethyl)amine (TPyA) < TQA < tris(6-methyl-2-pyridyl)amine (TMPyA).

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