Mixing the spacers in azacryptands: effects on halide recognition
In this work, we report on two new asymmetric dicopper cryptates, characterized by alternate furanyl and p-xylyl spacers. The results of the potentiometric, UV-vis and X-ray diffraction studies are discussed. In particular, for one of the cages in the octaprotonated form, the crystal structure of the complex with nitrate is described. From the point of view of the anion binding in water, the new dicopper cryptates display stronger similarities to each other than to the symmetric analogues (i.e. p-xylyl and furan cryptates). The substitution of even only one spacer modifies the distance between the metal ions. This prevents the development of the CT band, typically accompanying the binding of halides by the furan cryptate, and favors the formation of complexes of different stoichiometry with the linear azide anion, not observed for the symmetric cryptates. The obtained results may be very helpful in the design of new molecular receptors based on dimetallic cryptates, in particular for the tuning of the sensitivity towards specific anionic substrates.