Influence of receptor flexibility on intramolecular H-bonding interactions†
Atropisomers of a series of zinc tetraphenyl porphyrins were synthesized and used as supramolecular receptors. Rotation around the porphyrin-meso phenyl bonds is restricted by installing ortho-chlorine substituents on the phenyl groups. The chlorine substituents allowed chromatographic separation of atropisomers, which did not interconvert at room temperature. The porphyrin meso phenyl groups were also equipped with phenol groups, which led to the formation of intramolecular H-bonds when the zinc porphyrins were bound to pyridine ligands equipped with ester or amide side arms. Binding of the pyridine ligands with the conformationally locked chloroporphyrins was compared with the corresponding unsubstituted porphyrins, which are more flexible. The association constants of 150 zinc porphyrin–pyridine complexes were measured in two different solvents, toluene and 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane (TCE). These association constants were then used to construct 120 chemical double mutant cycles to quantify the influence of chlorine substitution on the free energy of intramolecular H-bonds formed between the phenol side arms of the porphyrins and the ester or amide side arms of the pyridine ligands. Conformational restriction leads to increases in the stability of some complexes and decreases in the stability of others with variations in the free energy contribution due to intramolecular H-bonding of −5 to +6 kJ mol−1.