Using inclusion complexes with cyclodextrins to explore the aggregation behavior of a ruthenium metallosurfactant
The aggregation behavior of a chiral metallosurfactant, bis(2,2'-bipyridine)(4,4'-ditridecyl-2,2'-bipyridine)ruthenium(II) dichloride (Ru24C13), synthesized as a racemic mixture was characterized by small-angle neutron scattering, light scattering, NMR, and electronic spectroscopies. The analysis of the SANS data indicates that micelles are prolate ellipsoids over the range of concentrations studied, with a relatively low aggregation number, and the micellization takes place gradually with increasing concentration. The presence of cyclodextrins (beta-CD and gamma-CD) induces the breakup of the micelles and helps to establish that micellization occurs at a very slow exchange rate compared to the NMR time scale. The open structure of this metallosurfactant enables the formation of very stable complexes of 3:1 stoichiometry, in which one CD threads one of the hydrocarbon tails and two CDs the other, in close contact with the polar head. The complex formed with beta-CD, more stable than the one formed with the wider gamma-CD, is capable of resolving the Delta and Lambda enantiomers at high CD/surfactant molar ratios. The chiral recognition is possible due to the very specific interactions taking place when the beta-CD covers-via its secondary rim-part of the diimine moiety connected to the hydrophobic tails. A SANS model comprising a binary mixture of hard spheres (complex + micelles) was successfully used to study quantitatively the effect of the CDs on the aggregation of the surfactant.