Anion-aided Dynamic One-pot Self-assembly of Rectangular Metallacycles

Ler Chun Shiu, Jen Han Chuang, Gene Hsiang Lee, Tian Shung Wu, Kom Bei Shiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The tetracopper(I) complex [{Cu2(μ-dppm)2}2(μ-1,4-O2CC6H4(CO2)2)](BF4)2 (1(BF4)2) and 1,2-bis(4-pyridyl)ethane (bpa) can establish a dynamic equilibrium in CH2Cl2. From the equilibrium mixture containing 1(BF4)2 and bpa with the molar ratio 1(BF4)2/bpa of 1:1, a supramolecular compound [{Cu2(μ-dppm)2}2(μ-1,4-C6H4(CO2)2)(μ-bpa)]2(BF4)4 (2(BF4)4) was obtained as single crystals. The crystal structure was determined by X-ray crystallography to reveal presence of one BF-4 anion inside a cationic rectangular metallacycle {2 ⊂ BF4 }3+. Both structural evidence and DFT-calculated results indicate that the F atoms of the anion exert weak electrostatic attraction with hydrogen atoms of the bound bpa as the framework of the cationic metallacycle. The attractive interactions apparently play an important role in stabilizing some dynamically self-assembled precursors so as to form the final anion-included metallacycle. Without the electrostatic help from the anion, the self-assembly of the empty metallacycle may be hindered by a rather large endothermic free energy. The favorable electrostatic stabilization is present not only for a BF-4 anion but also for other anions such as PF-6, NO-3, and BF-4 even when the flexible bpa is replaced by rigid 4,4′-bipyridine (bpy). Based on the DFT results, the metallacycle 2(BF4)4 can be easily prepared in a one-pot reaction of [Cu(MeCN)4](BF4) with three ligands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-673
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Chinese Chemical Society
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)


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