The spectroscopic properties of Cu(bio-monomer)nm+ complexes [BM=bio-monomer (purine, adenine, guanine, hypoxanthine, 5-ADP and 5-GMP)] in saponite clays have been investigated by diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) in the UV-Vis-NIR region and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) at X-band. Mono- and/or bis complexes of Cu(purine), Cu(adenine), Cu(5-ADP) and Cu(5-GMP) have been intercalated between the layers of saponite by a simple cation exchange procedure from aqueous solutions of pre-formed Cu(BM)nm+ complexes. Successful immobilisation was obtained with a BM:Cu2+ ratio of 5, but the exact coordination geometry of the intercalated complexes was determined by the overall Cu-loading, the pH of the initial exchange solution and the type of BM. Mono Cu(adenine) and Cu(purine) complexes with a NNOO coordination dominate at low Cu-loadings, or at an exchange solution pH between 3 and 4, whereas bis Cu(adenine)22+ and Cu(purine)22+ complexes with a NNNN coordination are exclusively present at higher Cu-loadings with an exchange solution pH between 5 and 8.On the other hand, clay-intercalated Cu(5-ADP)+ and Cu(5-GMP)+ are always present as mono-complexes, most probably in a NOOO coordination
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