Achieving Reversible Sensing of Nitroxyl by Tuning the Ligand Environment of Azamacrocyclic Copper(II) Complexes.


To elucidate the factors that impart selectivity for nitroxyl (HNO) over nitric oxide (NO), thiols, and H2S in metal-based fluorescent probes, we investigated five Cu(II)-cyclam (14-N4) derivatives. Upon exposure to NO gas at pH 7, no changes occur in the UV-vis spectra of any of the complexes. Addition of Angeli's salt to generate HNO promotes reduction of Cu(II) only in the case of [Cu(II)(14-N4-Ts)(OTf)2], which has the most positive reduction potential of the series. To gain insight into the observed reactivity, we prepared the Cu(II) complex of the mixed thia/aza 14-N2S2 ligand. [Cu(II)(14-N2S2)(OTf)2] reacts reversibly with HNO at pH 7, although nonselectively over thiols and H2S. The recurrent sensing of HNO uncovered with the study of Cu(II) azamacrocyclic complexes is a remarkable feature that opens the door for the design of a new generation of metal-based probes.


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