A multi-O2 complex derived from a copper(I) dendrimer

Robertus J.M. Klein Gebbink, Anton W. Bosman, Martinus C. Feiters, E. W. Meijer, Roeland J.M. Nolte

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41 Citations (Scopus)


The high-pressure reaction of 2-vinylpyridine with the primary amines of four consecutive generations of poly(propylene imine) dendrimers (DAB-dendr- (NH2)(n)) (n = 4, 8, 16, 32) yielded dendrimers with bis[2-(2- pyridyl)ethyl]-amine (PY2) ligands. The complexation of the new dendrimers with metal ions was investigated by a variety of techniques. The reaction of the first- and fourth-generation dendrimers (n=4 and 32, respectively) with Zn(II)(ClO4)2 was studied by 1H NMR titration, and the complexation of all new dendrimers with Cu(II)(ClO4)2 was investigated by UV/Vis and EPR spectroscopy. Quantitative coordination of one metal ion per PY2 group was demonstrated in all cases. A UV/Vis titration of the fourth-generation dendrimer DAB-dendr-(PY2)32 in dichloromethane with [Cu(I)(CH3CN)4](ClO4) in acetonitrile revealed that approximately 30 Cu(I) ions were bound. Low-temperature UV/Vis spectroscopy of this complex in dichloromethane at -85°C in the presence of dioxygen showed that approximately 60-70% of the copper centers can bind dioxygen, corresponding to 10-11 of these molecules per dendrimer molecule. This complex can be considered a synthetic analogue of hemocyanin, the copper-containing oxygen transport protein from the hemolymph of molluscs and arthropods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-69
Number of pages5
JournalChemistry : A European Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1999


  • Copper
  • Dendrimers
  • Dioxygen complexes
  • N ligands
  • Zinc


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