Advances in Supramolecular Catalysis: Studies of Bifurcated Hamilton Receptors
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Bidentate ligands are a commonly used class of ligands in catalysis that generate highly-active and selective catalysts. Such bidentate ligands, however, often suffer from synthetic challenges, which can be alleviated by the use of simpler monodentate ligands that assemble through non-covalent interactions to mimic the structure of bidentate ligands at the metal center. To produce a strongly assembled catalyst complex, the Hamilton receptor motif was utilized. Hamilton receptors form six hydrogen bonds with complementary guests and have binding affinities for barbiturates of up to 104 M-1 in CDCl3. Complete bifurcation of the Hamilton scaffold produces a modular ligand structure that allows for modification of either end of the supramolecular ligand structure. Similarly, the barbiturate guest can be synthetically altered creating both chiral guests and guests with differing amounts of steric bulk. Both experimental titration data and density functional theory calculations show that steric bulk discourages binding of the guest while a pre-organized host encourages guest inclusion. Electronic effects on the bifurcated Hamilton system were studied by varying the electron donating or withdrawing ability of the benzamide moiety on the host molecule. Electron withdrawing moieties produce more acidic amide hydrogens on the host which are able to participate in stronger hydrogen bonds with the guest resulting in a stronger host-guest complex. The effects of substitutions on the barbiturate guest were examined as well, and increased steric bulk on the guest resulted in decreased affinities with the host. The bifurcated Hamilton receptor ligands were examined in the palladium-catalyzed Heck reaction of iodobenzene with butyl acrylate. Pd2(OAc)4 was used as a control and all reaction yields with the diphenylphosphine ligand-stabilized Pd were greater than or equal to those obtained with Pd2(OAc)4 alone. The reaction rates did not correlate with the determined binding constants, suggesting that phosphine substitution on the guest plays a larger role than affinity of the complex for the guest. Reaction temperatures were varied, and at lower temperatures the yields increased implying that the strength of the hydrogen bonds between the metal complex and the guest does play a secondary role in the catalysis. This dissertation includes previously published co-authored material.