The aim of this project is the synthesis of new polyphosphines and polyphosphine oxides and the investigation or their complexation abilities towards a range of heavy metals. In particular, the applicability of such phosphorus ligands to extract heavy metals from waste waters will be investigated.
Initial emphasis will be given to those metals which can be monitored by nuclear magnetic resonance (n.m.r.) spectroscopy, e g 119Sn, 183W, 199Hg and 207Pb. On the basis of all n.m.r. data (1H, 13C, 31P, the metal nuclei chemical shifts, coupling constants) it is possible to discuss the confirmational arrangement of the newly formed phosphorus complexes in solution. Solid state (n.m.r. and X-ray) data may be used to compare the structure of the compounds in the two different states. This may lead to a better understanding of the reactivity of phosphorus compounds towards metals and may facilitate the choice of the 'right' phosphorus partner for extraction of heavy metals from common environmental matrices.