New cofacial binuclear complexes for the oxygen reduction reaction and selective anion binding
Devoille, Aline M. J.
This thesis describes the design, synthesis and reactivity of bimetallic complexes of doubly-pillared Schiff-base calixpyrrole ligands. Chapter One introduces the oxygen reduction reaction in light of the global energy scenario at present and in the future. Compounds and materials known to catalyse this reaction are discussed, with particular focus on transition metal complexes of pyrrole-containing macrocycles and the ability of these compounds to act as catalysts in redox reactions. Chapter Two describes the design and synthesis of several of the macrocyclic ligands developed during this project. The wide range of metals and geometries supported by one of the ligands, H4L, are outlined and include complexes of alkali-metals (Li, K), a rare earth metal (Mg), transition metals (Pd, Fe) and an actinide (UO2 2+). Chapter Three presents the use of [Co2(L)] for the reduction of dioxygen to water. The redox behaviour of the complex and its ability to reversibly bind oxygen were evaluated. The catalytic activity of [Co2(L)] was investigated in solution by UV-Vis spectrophotometry and electrochemically by rotating ring-disk electrochemistry. In Chapter Four, the ability of [Zn2(L)] to bind anions is described. Isothermal microcalorimetry, NMR, UV-Visible spectrophotometry, and fluorophotometry were used to study the de-aggregation of the anion free complex and the subsequent anion binding event. The stability of the complexes was estimated by DFT calculations. Chapter Five outlines the synthesis of complexes of L for other transition metals relevant to small molecule activation. Chapter Six contains a conclusion and suggestions on further investigations to carry out. Chapter Seven presents the full experimental details and analytical data for this work.