An ion pair receptor was prepared by coupling of a diazacrown ether and a rigid biindole scaffold bearing hydrogen bond donors of two indole NHs. The former serves as the cation-binding site and the latter functions as the anion-binding site. The anion-binding affinities to the receptor, determined by 1H NMR titration experiments in 10% (v/v) DMSO-d6/CD3CN at 24 ± 1 °C, have been greatly improved when an alkali metal cation binds to the adjacent diazacrown ether. For example, the association constant between chloride and receptor alone is 7 M−1, but the magnitudes increase into 120 M−1, 14,000 M−1, and 6200 M−1 in the presence of lithium, sodium, and potassium ions, respectively. The enhanced binding affinities must be attributed to electrostatic interactions by possibly forming contact ion pairs.
Jeong, K-S., Chae, M. K., Lee, J-I., & Kim, N-K. (2007). An ion pair receptor showing remarkable enhancement of anion-binding strengths in the presence of alkali metal cations. Tetrahedron Letters, 48(38), 6624-6627. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tetlet.2007.07.115