Investigation of Ion Coordination by Multitopic Supramolecular Receptors
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Ions play pivotal roles both biologically and environmentally. The effects felt from the impact of ions, much like their relative charge, can be positive or negative. Ions are responsible for catalyzing and executing precise control over many of the essential processes that occur in our bodies. Ions can also be major contributors as environmental pollutants having catastrophic effects. There is a great deal of interest in better understanding the role and effect of ions in the surrounding environments. The ability to study ions of interest relies on efficient recognition and sensing of these targets. The field of supramolecular chemistry is particularly well suited for this task as it utilizes non-covalent molecular interactions in much the same way natural system involving ions operate. Broadly, this body of research seeks to explore the subtle interactions of various targeted ions with supramolecular receptors. This research is an effort to further understand the nature of these interactions for potential recognition and sensing applications as well as better understanding the highly complex systems found in biology. Chapter I provides a brief overview of various mechanisms of ion coordination in supramolecular chemistry and emphasizes some key examples demonstrating the importance of the various types of coordination as it pertains to the research presented herein. Chapter II highlights a unique class of phosphine oxide-based tripodal ditopic receptors and presents studies on their interactions with alkali metals and halides. Chapter III covers the synthesis and study of anionic binding trends for a series of heteroaromatic-containing urea-based receptors and discusses the influence of anion binding on receptor conformation. Chapter IV provides preliminary results on the application of the bipyridal bisurea-based anion receptor, presented in Chapter III, as ligand for metal salts. Chapter V focuses on a series of pyridal bisurea-based receptors with regard to their ability to serve as chloride sensitive probes in cellular environments. This dissertation contains both previously published and unpublished co-authored material.