Hydrolysis and DFT structural studies of dinuclear Zn(II) and Cu(II) macrocyclic complexes of m-12N3O-dimer and the effect of pH on their promoted HPNP hydrolysis rates
The synthesis of the ligand, m-12N3O-dimer (1,3-bis(1-oxa-4,7,10-triazacyclododecan-7-yl)methyl)benzene, L), and the stability and hydrolysis constants of its dinuclear Zn(II) and Cu(II) complexes are reported, in addition to the effect of pH on HPNP (2-hydroxypropyl-4-nitrophenylphosphate) hydrolysis reaction rates promoted by these complexes. Various structural possibilities of the [Zn2L] and [Cu2L] hydrolytic species derived from solution equilibrium modeling are predicted from density functional theory (DFT) studies to correlate with the promoted HPNP hydrolysis reaction rates and to establish the structure–function–reactivity relationship. Upon deprotonation [Zn2L(OH)]3+ tends to form a structure with a “closed-form” conformation where it is not possible for para-isomers. At pH >8, the formation of the closed-form [Zn2L(OH)2]2+ and [Zn2L(μ-OH)(OH)2]+ species led to faster promoted HPNP hydrolysis rates than the [Zn2L(OH)]3+ species. On the other hand, the observed rates of the Cu2L-promoted HPNP hydrolysis reaction were much slower than those of the [Zn2L]-promoted ones due to formation of the inactive, di-μ-OH− bridged closed-form [Cu2L(μ-OH)2]2+ structure at high pH. The effects of solvent molecules and the use of higher DFT computation levels, i.e., M06 and M06–2X, in conjunction with cc-pVDZ and cc-pVTZ basis sets on the DFT-predicted structures for both [Cu(12N4)(H2O)]2+ and [Zn(12N3O)(H2O)2]2+ complexes were also evaluated and compared with those using the B3LYP/6–31G* method.