Metal-Assisted Crown Ethers for Evolutionary Design of Metal Hosts

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The idea of metal-organization of linear molecules into macrocyclic structures is introduced. This idea has been tested on various oligoether compounds containing two chelate ligands at the terminals. Chelate ligands include β-diketone, salicylic ester, catechol, and salicylic acid. The first two were organized into neutral metallocrown ethers, which showed much better extraction behavior towards alkali and alkaline earth metal cations than conventional monocyclic crown ethers. The last two were organized into ’ate‘-type complexes and incorporated metal ions into a newly formed anionic cavity. The stability constants were estimated for salicylate complexes and revealed excellent binding and selectivity. The presence of dipolar O−–Mn+ bonds in the metal organization method is concluded to contribute significantly to better interaction with metal ions through enthalpic stabilization.

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