Document Type

Theses, Ph.D


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


This project describes the synthesis and biomimetic/biological properties of sixty nine copper (II) and silver (I) complexes. The complexes were derived from reactions of four copper (II) carboxylate compounds along with copper(II) and silver(I) salts with various nitrogen donor ligands. Approximately sixty of the complexes are novel. X-ray crystal structures for five of the novel copper (II) complexes are reported. [Cu9salH)2 (1) [Cu2(asp)4(H2O)2].H2O (2) [Cu(dipsH)2(H2O) (3) and {Cu(msal)(H2))}n (4) were generated when copper (II) hydroxide was reacted with the relevant carboxylic acid. Complexes (1) – (4) reacted with simple benzimidazoles to yield twelve complexes with three of them being structurally characterised. When (1 – (4) were reacted with the potential chelating ligands thiabendazole, 2 – (2-pryridyl)benzimidazole, 1, 10-phenanthroline and 2,2’-bipryidine twelve complexes resulted with one of them being structurally characterised. Copper (II) acetate and the simple copper(II)salts, copper sulphate and copper chloride were each reacted with both the chelating and the simple benzimidazole ligands to yield twenty complexes with one being structurally elucidated by X-ray analysis. Silver(I) salicylate ([Ag2(salH)2] was generated as described in the literature. All attempts to generate benzimidazole derivative of [Ag2(salH)2] were unsuccessful. The silver(I) salts, silver nitrate, silver sulphate and silver acetate were reacted with both the chelating and the simple benzimidazole ligands to yield nineteen compounds. None of the fifty copper(II) complexes generated during this study exhibited significant catalase activity but all did show SOD mimetic properties and selected complexes also exhibited anticancer activity against three human derived cancer cell lines. The antifungal activities of all of the complexes were also examined against the pathogen Candida albicans. At higher concentrations the majority of the copper(II) complexes exhibit very good activity but as the concentration is decreased their efficacy diminishes significantly. All of the silver(I) derivatives were extremely photo-stable and exhibited anti-mycotic activity far greater than the prescription drug Ketoconazole.


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