Tunable Rh2(II,II) Light Absorbers as Excited-State Electron Donors and Acceptors Accessible with Red/Near-Infrared Irradiation

A series of dirhodium(II,II) paddlewheeel complexes of the type cis-[Rh2(μ-DTolF)2(μ-L)2][BF4]2, where DTolF = N,N′-di(p-tolyl)formamidinate and L = 1,8-naphthyridine (np), 2-(pyridin-2-yl)-1,8-naphthyridine (pynp), 2-(quinolin-2-yl)-1,8-naphthyridine (qnnp), and 2-(1,8-naphthyridin-2-yl)quinoxaline (qxnp), were synthesized and characterized. These molecules feature new tridentate ligands that concomitantly bridge the dirhodium core and cap the axial positions. The complexes absorb light strongly throughout the ultraviolet/visible range and into the near-infrared region and exhibit relatively long-lived triplet excited-state lifetimes. Both the singlet and triplet excited states exhibit metal/ligand-to-ligand charge transfer (ML-LCT) in nature as determined by transient absorption spectroscopy and spectroelectrochemistry measurements. When irradiated with low-energy light, these black dyes are capable of undergoing reversible bimolecular electron transfer both to the electron acceptor methyl viologen and from the electron donor p-phenylenediamine. Photoinduced charge transfer in the latter was inaccessible with previous Rh2(II,II) complexes. These results underscore the fact that the excited state of this class of molecules can be readily tuned for electron-transfer reactions upon simple synthetic modification and highlight their potential as excellent candidates for p- and n-type semiconductor applications and for improved harvesting of low-energy light to drive useful photochemical reactions.

Tyler J. Whittemore,‡,§ Agustin Millet,†,§ Hannah J. Sayre,‡ Congcong Xue,‡ Brian S. Dolinar,†Eryn G. White,† Kim R. Dunbar,†,* and Claudia Turro*,‡

‡Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio 43210, United States

†Department of Chemistry, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, United States


Adapted with permission from J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018140(15), pp 5161–5170. Copyright 2018 American Chemical Society.