The visible absorption spectra of 1,4-(dihydroxy)-9,10-anthraquinone and of Co(II), Ni(II), Cu(II) and Zn(II) chelates have been studied in different organic solvents. This system provides a model for the anthracycline antibiotics and their metal chelates. The band structure of the spectrum has been determined using the second and fourth derivatives of the spectrum. The visible absorption band of the parent molecule can be assigned to a single electronic state with a reduced dipole moment in the excited state; structure in this band is ascribed to two overlapping vibrational progressions. In contrast, the dianion (hydroxy protons removed) shows a single electronic state with an increased dipole moment in the excited state; structure in this band can be assigned to a single vibrational progression. All of the metal chelates show spectra which are similar in appearance to that of the dianion although the identity of the metal determines the bathochromic shift of the absorption band. Titration of 1,4-dihydroxyanthraquinone with Cu(ClO4)2.6H2O demonstrates that three chelates with metal-to-ligand ratios of 1:2, 1:1 and 2:1 can form depending on the identity of the metal, ratio of metal to ligand, and donor character of the solvent.
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