Research: Richard Pizer, Ph.D.

Complex Buffer Systems

The study of complex buffer systems is a significant departure from and extension of our earlier research projects on boron acid complexation reactions1. Those studies were concerned with thermodynamics, kinetics, and structures of boron acid binary complexes.

One particularly interesting aspect of the chemistry of binary boron acid complexes is their unusual ability to bind main group metal ions with appreciable specificity 2.

More recently, the possibility of binary boron acid complex ions contributing to the buffer capacity of boron acid complex systems has drawn our attention. The idea is that boron acid complex ions may confer increased buffer capacity on boron acid systems by virtue of complexation equilibria that are coupled to the acid-base equilibria in the systems. In addition to providing increased buffer capacity, the coupled equilibria may also extend the pH range over which the buffer systems may be effective. Maintenance of constant pH in a reaction system is often essential in chemical synthesis and in pharmaceutical/medicinal chemistry.

Certainly, the central importance of effective buffer systems in biological systems has been recognized for many years. Although the initial impetus for this project is the study and characterization of complex boron acid buffer systems, the extension of the project to elements other than boron is the next logical step as this project evolves.

Selected Publications:

  1. Pizer, R., Ricatto, P.J. “Thermodynamics of Several 1:1 and 1:2 Complexation Reactions of the Borate Ion with Bidentate Ligands. 11B NMR Spectroscopic Studies” Inorganic Chemistry, 1994, 33, 2402-2406.
  2. Pizer, R., Ricatto, P.J. “Ternary Alkaline Earth Metal Complex Ions in the M2+/Borate/Tartrate System as Studied by 11B NMR” Inorganic Chemistry, 1994, 33, 4985-4990.
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