Induction-driven stabilization of the anion-π interaction in electron-rich aromatics as the key to fluoride inclusion in imidazolium-cage receptors

Zhaochao Xu, N. Jiten Singh, Sook Kyung Kim, David R. Spring, Kwang S. Kim, Juyoung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations

Abstract

Intermolecular interactions that involve aromatic rings are key processes in both chemical and biological recognition. It is common knowledge that the existence of anion-π interactions between anions and electron-deficient (π-acidic) aromatics indicates that electron-rich (π-basic) aromatics are expected to be repulsive to anions due to their electron-donating character. Here we report the first concrete theoretical and experimental evidence of the anion-π interaction between electron-rich alkylbenzene rings and a fluoride ion in CH3CN. The cyclophane cavity bridged with three naphthoimidazolium groups selectively complexes a fluoride ion by means of a combination of anion-π interactions and (CH) +⋯F--type ionic hydrogen bonds. 1H NMR, 19F NMR, and fluorescence spectra of 1 and 2 with fluoride ions are examined to show that only 2 can host a fluoride ion in the cavity between two alkylbenzene rings to form a sandwich complex. In addition, the cage compounds can serve as highly selective and ratiometric fluorescent sensors for a fluoride ion. With the addition of 1 equiv of F-, a strongly increased fluorescence emission centered at 385 nm appears at the expense of the fluorescence emission of 2 centered at 474 nm. Finally, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) experiments were performed to obtain the binding constants of the compounds 1 and 2 with F- as well as Gibbs free energy. The 2-F- complex is more stable than the 1-F- complex by 1.87 kcal mol-1, which is attributable to the stronger anion-π interaction between F- and triethylbenzene.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1163-1170
Number of pages8
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Volume17
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 24 Jan 2011

Keywords

  • anions
  • electron-rich aromatics
  • fluorides
  • hydrogen bonds
  • pi interactions

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