Molecular dynamics study of 2rotaxanes: influence of solvation and cation on co-conformation.

TitleMolecular dynamics study of 2rotaxanes: influence of solvation and cation on co-conformation.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsFradera, Xavier, Márquez Manuel, Smith Bradley D., Orozco Modesto, and F Luque Javier
JournalJ Org Chem
Date Published2003 Jun 13

The conformational preference of a [2]rotaxane system has been examined by molecular dynamics simulations. The rotaxane wheel consists of two bridged binding components: a cis-dibenzo-18-crown-6 ether and a 1,3-phenyldicarboxamide, and the penetrating axle consists of a central isophthaloyl unit with phenyltrityl capping groups. The influence of solvation on the co-conformation of the [2]rotaxane was evaluated by comparing the conformational flexibility in two solvents: chloroform and dimethyl sulfoxide. Attention was also paid to the effect of cation binding on the dynamical properties of the [2]rotaxane. The conformational stability of the [2]rotaxane was calculated using a MM/PB-SA strategy, and the occurrence of specific motions was examined by essential dynamics analysis. The changes in the co-conformational properties in the two solvents and upon cation binding are discussed in light of the available NMR data. The results indicate that in chloroform solution the [2]rotaxane system exists as a mixture of co-conformational states including some that have hydrogen bonds between axle C=O and wheel NH groups. Analysis of the simulations allow us to hypothesize that the [2]rotaxane’s circumrotation motion can occur as the result of a dynamic process that combines a preliminary axle sliding step that breaks these hydrogen bonds and a conformational change in the ester group more distant from the wheel. In contrast, no hydrogen-bonded co-conformation was found in dimethyl sulfoxide, which appears to be due to the preferential formation of hydrogen bonds between the wheel NH groups with solvent molecules. Moreover, the axle experiences notable changes in anisotropic shielding, which would explain why the NMR signals are broadened in this solvent. Insertion of a sodium cation into the crown ether reduces co-conformational flexibility due to an interaction of the axle with the cation. Overall, the results reveal how both solvent and ionic atmosphere can influence the co-conformational preferences of rotaxanes.