The coordination chemistry of the 2-His-1-carboxylate facial triad mimics 3,3-bis(1-methylimidazol-2-yl)propionate (MIm2Pr) and 3,3-bis(1-ethyl-4-isopropylimidazol-2-yl) propionate (iPrEtIm2Pr) towards ZnCl2 was studied both in solution and in the solid state. Different coordination modes were found depending both on the stoichiometry and on the ligand that was employed. In the 2:1 ligand-to-metal complex [Zn(MIm2Pr)2], the ligand coordinates in a tridentate, tripodal N,N,O fashion similar to the 2-His-1-carboxylate facial triad. However, the 1:1 ligand-to-metal complexes [Zn(MIm2Pr)Cl(H2O)] and [Zn(iPrEtIm2Pr)Cl] were crystallographically characterized and found to be polymeric in nature. A new, bridging coordination mode of the ligands was observed in both structures comprising N,N-bidentate coordination of the ligand to one zinc atom and O-monodentate coordination to a zinc second atom. A rather unique transformation of pyruvate into oxalate was found with [Zn(MIm2Pr)Cl], which resulted in the isolation of the new, oxalato bridged zinc coordination polymer [Zn2(MIm2Pr)2(ox)]·6H2O, the structure of which was established by X-ray crystal structure determination
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