Synthesis, metal complexes, reduction chemistry and antimicrobial applications of a novel bis(imino)acenaphthene (BIAN)-supported N-heterocyclic carbene



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The use of N-heterocyclic carbenes (NHCs) as ligands in catalysis is one of the most significant developments in modern catalysis and organometallic chemistry. One way to extend the scope of NHC ligand tuning is by means of annulation of carbocyclic and heterocyclic rings to the NHC backbone. The bis(imino)acenaphthene-supported N-heterocyclic carbene [IPr(BIAN)] has been synthesized and can be regarded as originating from the fusion of a naphthalene ring to an NHC. Several metal complexes of IPr(BIAN), including those incorporating copper(I), silver(I), gold(I), or iridium(I) have been synthesized and characterized, including single-crystal X-ray diffraction studies. The doncity of IPr(BIAN) was investigated using the Tolmen Electronic Parameter (TEP) method. A TEP value of 2042 cm-1 was calculated for the IPr(BIAN) ligand using the Ir(CO)2Cl complex which indicates that IPr(BIAN) is a relatively strong electron donating NHC ligand. The well-behaved redox chemistry of the BIAN ligand class rendered IPr(BIAN) an excellent candidate for exploration of the relationship between ligand charge and carbene donicity. The electrochemical reduction of IPr(BIAN) was studied by cyclic voltammetry (CV) in a THF solution and a reversible reduction wave was detected at - 1.79 V vs SCE. Spectroelectrochemical IR studies were also undertaken to further characterize the nature of the reduced state. IPr(BIAN) was found to be a stronger electron donating ligand in the reduced state in comparison with the neutral state of the ligand. IPr(BIAN) was also chemically reduced using potassium graphite and the resulting radical anion was studied by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) techniques. An isotropic EPR signal was observed at a g value of 2.0112. Due to the known antimicrobial activities of silver and gold NHCs, the activities of the silver and gold complexes of IPr(BIAN) and the imidazolium salts of several BIAN ligands were investigated using the minimum inhibitory concentration test. The silver(I) and gold(I) complexes of IPr(BIAN) were found to be moderately active. The most active compounds were found to be the imidazolium salts, with MIC values ranging between < 0.6 μg/mL and 78 μg/mL for the diisopropylphenyl(BIAN) and the mesityl(BIAN) imidazolium chlorides against S. aureas, B. subtilis, E. coli, and P. aeruginosa. The preparation of nanofibers impregnated with IPr(BIAN)AuCl by the process of electrospinning was also explored. The antimicrobial activities of the resulting nanofiber mats were determined on the basis of the inhibition zone test, and a localized antimicrobial activity was observed for the Gram-positive bacteria M. leuteus.