The two novel oxovanadium(V) complexes [VO(PyDC)(BHA)] (1) [PyDC = pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylate, BHA = benzohydroxamate] and [VO(PyDC)(BPHA)] (2) [BPHA = benzophenyl hydroxamate] were synthesized by successive addition of a methanolic solution of H2PyDC and the corresponding hydroxamic acid ligand to the aqueous solution of ammonium metavanadate (NH4VO3). The hydroxamic acid ligands were characterized by elemental analysis, IR, UV-vis and NMR studies whereas the complexes were characterized by IR, UV-vis, CHN, molar conductance, magnetic moment, mass and NMR spectroscopic methods. The structures of the complexes were determined by single crystal X-ray crystallography. The structures of both complexes reveal that vanadium(V) has distorted octahedral geometry. The bromoperoxidase activities of these complexes have been demonstrated through the activation of C–H bonds of phenol, o-cresol and p-cresol. The catalytic products have been characterized by GC-MS analysis which shows that good conversions have been achieved. So far as the catalytic efficiency of the complexes are concerned complex 2 is found to be superior to complex 1. Both the complexes were tested for DNA nuclease activity with pUC19 plasmid DNA. The results show that both of them exhibited nuclease activity against pUC19 circular plasmid DNA. The complexes produced both nicked coils and linear forms. In this case also it is observed that complex 2 shows better nuclease activity than complex 1.
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