Roger M., Regueiro-Figueroa M., Ben Azzeddine C., Patinec V., Bonnet C. S., Platas-Iglesias C. and Tripier R
European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry (2014) (6) 1072-1081 - doi : 10.1002/ejic.201301426
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We report the synthesis of two ligands containing a DO3A unit (H(3)DO3A = 1,4,7,10-tetraazacyclododecane-1,4,7-triacetic acid) linked to a triazacyclononane (TACN) moiety by a 2,6-dimethylpyridine spacer designed to form stable Ln(3+) complexes in solution that respond to the presence of Zn2+ ions. The Eu3+ and Gd3+ complexes have been characterized by using a combination of experimental and theoretical techniques that include absorption and emission electronic spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, H-1 relaxometry, and DFT calculations. The Ln(3+) ions are eight-coordinated by the ligand, which binds to the metal ion through the seven donor atoms of the DO3A unit and the nitrogen atom of the pyridyl linker. Luminescence lifetime measurements recorded from solutions of the Eu3+ complexes in H2O and D2O and relaxometric measurements point to the absence of inner-sphere water molecules. The addition of Zn2+ causes important changes in the absorption spectra of the complexes that evidence the formation of both 1:1 and 2:1 (Ln(3+)/Zn2+) complex species. However, the emission lifetimes of the Eu3+ complexes and relaxivity experience weak changes, thus indicating that Zn2+ addition does not significantly affect the number of coordinated water molecules. The Gd3+ complexes show a weak emission band at 325 nm, the intensity of which dramatically increases in the presence of Zn2+. However, the turn-on behaviour induced by Zn2+ is not observed for other metal cations such as Ca2+, Mg2+ or Cu2+. DFT calculations indicate that a photoinduced electron-transfer (PET) process is responsible for the quenching of the luminescence in the absence of Zn2+.