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J Org Chem. 2007 Aug 3;72(16):6162-70. Epub 2007 Jul 13.

Synthesis and self-association properties of flexible guanidiniocarbonylpyrrole-carboxylate zwitterions in DMSO: intra- versus intermolecular ion pairing.

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  • 1Universität Würzburg, Institut für Organische Chemie, Am Hubland, 97074 Würzburg, Germany.


We have synthesized a new class of flexible zwitterions 6a-e, in which a carboxylate is linked via an alkyl chain with variable length (one to five methylene groups) to a guanidiniocarbonylpyrrole cation. The self-association properties of these zwitterions were determined by NMR dilution studies in DMSO and by ESI-MS experiments. The stability and hence also the size of the aggregates formed via self-assembly is critically dependent on the length and therefore flexibility of the spacer. Whereas the smallest zwitterion 6a forms large aggregates already at low concentrations, the more flexible zwitterions only form small oligomers (6b) or dimers (6c-e) at much larger concentrations. The differences between the five zwitterions can be explained based on the different extent of intramolecular ion pairing within the monomers. Any intramolecular ion pairing, which becomes possible with increasing linker length, stabilizes the monomer and therefore destabilizes any oligomer.

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