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Author ORCID ID is 0000000265016594
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  1. Here, the novel metal chelator – N-2-pyridylmethyl-diethylenetriamine- N,N',N'',N''-tetraacetic acid, DTTA-PyM – was designed to replace a single O-donor acetate group of the well-known aminopolycarboxylate complexant diethylenetriamine- N,N,N',N'',N''-pentaacetic acid (DTPA) with an N-donor 2-pyridylmethyl. Potentiometric, spectroscopic, computational, and radioisotope distribution methods show distinct differences for the 4f and 5f coordination environments and enhanced actinide binding due to the nitrogen bearing heterocyclic moiety. The Am 3+, Cm 3+, Ln 3+ complexation studies for DTTA-PyM reveal an enhanced preference, relative to DTPA, for trivalent actinide binding. Fluorescence studies indicate no changes to the octadentate coordination of trivalent curium, while evidence of heptadentate complexationmore » of trivalent europium is found in mixtures containing EuHL (aq) complexes at the same aqueous acidity. The denticity change observed for Eu 3+ suggests that complex protonation occurs on the pyridyl nitrogen. Formation of the CmHL(aq) complex is likely due to the protonation of an available carboxylate group since the carbonyl oxygen can maintain octadentate coordination through a rotation. The observed suppressed protonation of the pyridyl nitrogen in the Cm complexes may be attributed to stronger trivalent actinide binding by DTTA-PyM. Density functional theory calculations indicate that added stabilization of the actinide complexes with DTTA-PyM may originate from p back-bonding interactions between singly occupied 5 f orbitals of Am 3+ and the pyridyl nitrogen. The differences between the stability of trivalent actinide chelates (Am 3+, Cm 3+) and trivalent lanthanide chelates (La 3+-Lu 3+) are observed in liquid-liquid extraction systems, yielding unprecedented 4 f/5 f differentiation when using DTTA-PyM as an aqueous holdback reagent. In addition, the enhanced N-donor softness of the new DTTA-PyM chelator was perturbed by adding a fluorine onto the pyridine group. The comparative characterization of N-(3-fluoro-2-pyridylmethyl)-diethylenetriamine- N,N',N'',N''-tetraacetic acid, DTTA-3-F-PyM, showed subdued 4 f/5 f differentiation due to the presence of this electron-withdrawing group.« less
  2. A simple bidentate anion receptor, shown previously to adopt a rigid pseudobicyclic conformation while binding anions in the solid state, selectively binds sulfate in aqueous solutions with log K 1 and log K 2 values of 3.78 ± 0.12 M-1 and 2.10 ± 0.23 M-1, respectively. This anion receptor has little to no affinity for nitrate and chloride in the same solutions. A lipophilic derivative was synthesized in four steps to yield an extractant that is capable of partitioning sulfate into 1,2 dichloroethane from water in the presence of large excesses of chloride. This extractant demonstrated D values as highmore » as 2.5 with only 30 mM of anion receptor.« less
  3. Here, we report a new family of preorganized bislactam- 1,10-phenanthroline (BLPhen) complexants that possess both hard and soft donor atoms within a convergent cavity and show unprecedented extraction strength for the trivalent fblock metal ions. BLPhen ligands with saturated and unsaturated δ-lactam rings have notable differences in their affinity and selectivity for Am(III) over Eu(III), with the latter being the most selective mixed N,O-donor extractant of Am(III) reported to date. Saturated BLPhen was crystallized with five Ln(III) nitrates to form charge-neutral 1:1 complexes in the solid state. DFT calculations further elaborate on the variety of effects that dictate the performancemore » of these preorganized compounds.« less
  4. The role of solvent in molecular recognition systems is under-researched and often ignored, especially when the solvent is considered “non-interacting”. This study concerns the role of toluene solvent in cesium(I) recognition by calix[4]pyrrole. We show that π-donor interactions bind toluene molecules onto the open face of the cation-receptor complex, thus “capping the calix.” As a result, by characterizing this unusual aromatically-saturated complex, we show how “non-interacting” aromatic solvents can directly coordinate receptor-bound cations and thus influence recognition.
  5. Potentiometric and spectroscopic techniques were combined with DFT calculations to probe the coordination environment and determine thermodynamic features of trivalent f-element complexation by N-hydroxyethyl-diethylenetriamine-N,N',N",N"-tetraacetic acid, HEDTTA. Ligand protonation constants and lanthanide stability constants were determined using potentiometry. Five protonation constants were accessible in I = 2.0 M (H +/Na +)ClO 4. UV–vis spectroscopy was used to determine stability constants for Nd 3+ and Am 3+ complexation with HEDTTA. Luminescence spectroscopy indicates two water molecules in the inner coordination sphere of the Eu/HEDTTA complex, suggesting HEDTTA is heptadentate. Luminescence data was supported by DFT calculations, which demonstrate that substitution of themore » acetate pendant arm by a N-hydroxyethyl group weakens the metal–nitrogen bond. This bond elongation is reflected in HEDTTA’s ability to differentiate trivalent actinides from trivalent lanthanides. The trans-lanthanide Ln/HEDTTA complex stability trend is analogous to Ln/DTPA complexation; however, the loss of one chelate ring resulting from structural substitution weakens the complexation by ~3 orders of magnitude. Successful separation of trivalent americium from trivalent lanthanides was demonstrated when HEDTTA was utilized as aqueous holdback complexant in a liquid–liquid system. Time-dependent extraction studies for HEDTTA were compared to diethylenetriamine-N,N,N',N",N"-pentaacetic acid (DTPA) and N-hydroxyethyl-ethylenediamine-N,N',N'-triacetic acid (HEDTA). The results presented here indicate substantially enhanced phase-transfer kinetic rates for mixtures containing HEDTTA.« less

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