Biomimetic modeling of copper complexes: A study of enantioselective catalytic oxidation on D-(+)-catechin and L-(−)-epicatechin with copper complexes

The biomimetic catalytic oxidations of the dinuclear and trinuclear copper(II) complexes versus two catechols, namely, D-(+)-catechin and L-(-)-epicatechin to give the corresponding quinones are reported. The unstable quinones were trapped by the nucleophilic reagent, 3-methyl-2-benzothiazolinone hydrazone (MBTH), and have been calculated the molar absorptivities of the different quinones. The catalytic efficiency is moderate, as inferred by kinetic constants, but the complexes exhibit significant enantio-differentiating ability towards the catechols, albeit for the dinuclear complexes, this enantio-differentiating ability is lower. In all cases, the preferred enantiomeric substrate is D-(+)-catechin to respect the other catechol, because of the spatial disposition of this substrate.