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Off the Back or on the Side: Comparison of meso and 2-Substituted Donor-Acceptor Difluoroborondipyrromethene (Bodipy) Dyads

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Andrew Benniston, Graeme Copley


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The preparation of several difluoroborondipyrromethene (Bodipy) dyads is described incorporating covalently attached hydroquinone/quinone groups at the 2-position (BD-SHQ, BD-SQ, BD-SPHQ, BD-SPQ). The compounds, currently under investigation as chemical sensors for reactive oxygen species, show various levels of fluorescence depending on the oxidation state of the appended group. The F-19 NMR spectrum for BD-SHQ in CDCl3 at room temperature reveals the two fluorines are inequivalent on the NMR timescale. In contrast, the F-19 NMR spectrum for the counterpart quinone compound, BD-SQ, is consistent with two equivalent fluorine atoms. The two results are interpreted as the quinone is free to rotate around the connector bond, whereas this motion is restricted for the hydroquinone group and makes the fluorines chemically inequivalent. Cyclic voltammograms recorded for all derivatives in CH2Cl2 electrolyte solution are consistent with typical Bodipy-based redox chemistry; the potentials of which depend on factors such as presence of the phenylene spacer and oxidation state of the appended group. A comparison of the electrochemical behaviour with the counterpart meso derivatives reveals some interesting trends which are associated with the location of the HOMO/LUMOs. The absorption profiles for the compounds in CH3CN are again consistent with Bodipy-based derivatives, though there are some subtle differences in the band-shapes of the closely-coupled systems. In particular, the absorption spectra for the dyad, BD-SQ, in a wide range of solvents are appreciably broader than for BD-SHQ. Femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy performed on the hydroquinone derivatives, BD-SHQ and its meso analogue is interpreted as electron transfer occurs from the hydroquinone unit to the first-excited singlet (S-1) state of the Bodipy center, followed by ultrafast charge recombination to reinstate the ground state. The coupling of OH vibrations to the return electron transfer process is invoked to explain the lack of clear identification of the charge-separated state in the transient records.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Benniston AC, Copley G, Lemmetyinen H, Tkachenko NV

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Organic Chemistry

Year: 2010

Volume: 2010

Issue: 15

Pages: 2867-2877

Print publication date: 01/05/2010

ISSN (print): 1434-193X

ISSN (electronic): 1099-0690

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1002/ejoc.201000215


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