Design, synthesis and evaluation of silver-specific ligands

by Daubinet, André

Abstract (Summary)
Several series of ligands, designed to chelate silver(I) specifically in the presence of base metals, have been synthesised. The ligands include: - dithiodiamide compounds, prepared by the condensation of acetanilide derivatives with 1,2-dibromoethane; propanenitrile and propanoic ester derivatives prepared from pyridine-2-carbaldehyde via the Morita-Baylis-Hillman reaction; and novel malonamide ligands from the reaction of diethyl malonate with a range of primary amines. The malonamide derivatives were prepared under both conventional thermal and microwave-assisted conditions, the latter proving to be highly efficient. The ligands were all characterised using a combination of spectroscopic and, where appropriate, elemental analysis; in one case, the structural assignment was confirmed by single-crystal X-ray analysis. The fragmentation patterns in the electron-impact mass spectra of the malonamide derivatives have been explored using high-resolution and meta-stable peak scanning techniques.

Complexes of the malonamide ligands with copper(II) and silver(I) have been synthesised, and examination of these complexes has revealed distinct differences in their co-ordination preferences towards silver(I) and copper(II). Tentative, computer-modelled structures for the complexes have been proposed using the available spectroscopic and elemental analysis data. Computer modelling, at the Molecular Mechanics level, has also been used to assess the capacity of the ligand systems to adopt conformations suitable for the chelation of tetrahedral silver(I).

Solvent extraction studies have been undertaken using aqueous metal ion solutions and various organic solvents. The dithiodiamide derivatives typically presented solubility problems, but one of the ligands, N,N´-bis(3-chlorophenyl)-3,6-dithiaoctanediamide, exhibited significant but slow extraction of silver(I) into toluene. The malonamide derivatives, however, proved to be readily soluble in ethyl acetate and, in some cases, exhibited good to excellent selectivity for silver(I) in the presence of the base metals copper and lead. Atomic absorption analysis revealed rapid equilibration times (<15 min) and high extraction efficiencies over a wide pH range (2.78 - 9.0). Metal selectivity has been determined by ICP-MS analysis of the residual silver, copper and lead present in the aqueous phase after 15 min, and one of the ligands, N,N´-bis(2-benzylsulfanylethyl)malonamide, exhibits excellent (>= 96 %) silver(I) specificity.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Rhodes University

School Location:South Africa

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/2001

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