Porphyrin contains four inwardly oriented nitrogen atoms. It is arguably the most ubiquitous multifunctional naturally occurring macrocycle that has inspired the design of novel nitrogen-containing heterocycles for decades. While cyclic tetramers of pyrrole, indole, and pyridine have been exploited as macrocycles in this category, quinoline has been largely neglected as a synthon. Herein, we report the synthesis of TEtraQuinoline (TEQ) as a ‘missing link’ in this N4 macrocycle family. In TEQs, four quinoline units are concatenated to produce an S4-symmetric architecture. TEQs are characterized by a highly rigid saddle shape, wherein the lone-pair orbitals of the four nitrogen atoms are not aligned in a planar fashion. Nevertheless, TEQs can coordinate a series of transition-metal cations (Fe2+, Co2+, Ni2+, Cu2+, Zn2+, and Pd2+). TEQs are inherently fluorescence-silent but become strongly emissive upon protonation or complexation of Zn(II) cations (ϕ = 0.71). TEQ/Fe(II) complexes can catalyze dehydrogenation and oxygenation reactions with catalyst loadings as low as 0.1 mol %.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Chemistry
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry