Bis[N-alkyl-NN-di(2-pyridylmethyl)amine]zinc(II) perchlorates display cis-facial stereochemistry in solid state and solution

N-Alkyl-N,N-di(2-pyridylmethyl)amines are ligands commonly used by supramolecular chemists in molecular recognition and sensing applications. The metal coordination complexes of these ligands, in particular those with 2:1 (ligand:metal) molar ratio, have not been sufficiently characterised in solution. In this work, bis[N-alkyl-N,N-di(2-pyridylmethyl)amine]zinc(II) perchlorates are characterised in both solid and solution phases, using X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy, respectively. Only the cis-facial stereoisomer is observed. Density functional theory calculations support the thermodynamic preference for this stereochemistry, as in one representative case the gas phase energy of the cis-facial configuration is lower than those of the trans-facial and meridional configurations by 4.0 and 4.5 kcal/mol, respectively.

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