Supramolecular motifs in s-block metal bound sulfonated monoazo dyes

Alan R. Kennedy, Mhairi P. Hughes, Maureen L. Monaghan, Edward Staunton, Simon J. Teat, W. Ewen Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Citations (Scopus)


The solid-state structures of 43 Li, Na, K, Rb, Mg, Ca and Ba salts of para- and meta-sulfonated azo dyes have been examined and can be categorised into three structural classes. All form alternating organic and inorganic layers, however, the nature of the coordination network that forms these layers differs from class to class. The class of structure formed was found to be primarily governed by metal type, but can also be influenced by the nature and position of the organic substituents. Thus, for the para-sulfonated azo dyes, Mg compounds form solvent-separated ion-pair solids; Ca, Ba and Li compounds form simple coordination networks based on metal-sulfonate bonding; and Na, K and Rb compounds form more complex, higher dimensional coordination networks. Compounds of meta-sulfonated azo dyes follow a similar pattern, but here, Ca species may also form solvent-separated ion-pair solids. Significantly, this first attempt to classify such dyestuffs using the principles of supramolecular chemistry succeeds not only for the simple dyes used here as model compounds, but also for more complex molecules, similar to modern colourants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2199-2205
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the Chemical Society, Dalton Transactions
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jun 2001


  • monoazo dyes
  • supramolecular motifs


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