Organometallic amphiphiles: Oxidized ferrocene as headgroup for redox-switched bilayer and monolayer membranes

Keshi Wang, Servando Muñoz, Litao Zhang, Rene Castro, Angel E. Kaifer, George W. Gokel

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63 Scopus citations


A family of 15 ferrocene derivatives has been prepared, most of which are reported for the first time. This includes FcCH2O-3-cholestanyl, 1; FcCH2O(CH2)13CH3, 2; FcCH2O(CH2)15CH3, 3; FcCH2O(CH2)17CH3, 4; FcCH2N[(CH2)17CH3]2, 5; FcCH2O(CH2)8OCH2Fc, 6; FcCH2O(CH2)12OCH2Fc, 7; FcCH2O(CH2)16OCH2Fc, 8; Fc(CH2)22Fc, 9; FcCH2-3,17-β-estradioxy-CH2Fc, 10; Fc-1,1'-[COO(CH2)16CH3], 11; FcCONH(CH2)17CH3, 12; Fc-1,1'-{CON[(CH2)17CH3]2}2, 13; Fc-1,1'-(COO-3-dihydrocholesteryl), 14; and Fc-1,1'-(COO-3-cholesteryl), 15. Redox potentials for 1-15 have been determined and are in the range 400-450 mV for 2-6 (vs SSCE) and 509 mV for 1, 972 mV for 7, 806 mV for 8, 711 mV for 9, 941 mV for 10, and 945 mV for 11 (vs Ag/AgCl). Upon oxidation with Ce(IV), aqueous suspensions of compounds 1-5 and 7-10 formed stable vesicles after sonication. The charged monomers that formed vesicles afforded aggregates in the 2000-3000 Å range that were characterized by laser light scattering and negative stain electron microscopy. In the absence of an oxidizing agent, vesicles failed to form from any of the 15 monomers even after prolonged sonication. Addition of 500 μM aqueous Na2S2O4 solution collapsed the vesicles formed from 1-5 and 7-10, and the original amphiphile monomers were detected afterward by thin layer chromatography. It was concluded from cyclic voltammetry that both ferrocene residues in 8 were oxidized. Vesicles formed from 7-10 represent the first examples of a redox-switched bolaamphiphile.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6707-6715
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number28
StatePublished - Jul 17 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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