The synthesis of a new linear bis-tetraamine ligand L1, based on two 1,4,8,11-tetraazaundecane units grafted at the 2 and 6 positions of a pyridinyl linker substituted by an anthracenyl fluorophore in the para position, is described and anion complexation studies of L1 with anionic substrates are reported. The protonation pattern and the study of the binding properties of L1 in an aqueous medium with two anionic substrates, the nucleotide adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and the herbicide glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine, PMG), were investigated by means of potentiometry, NMR spectroscopy and absorption and emission spectroscopic techniques. To decipher the impact of the chromophoric linker on the complexation process and to highlight its optical properties, a comparison is established with its previously reported analog L2 devoid of the anthracenyl group. The results unambiguously show that the protonation and complexation properties are preserved despite the presence of the bulky linker, allowing for the use of L1 as a fluorescent sensor for ATP and PMG.
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