Phenyl−Perfluorophenyl Stacking Interactions:  Topochemical [2+2] Photodimerization and Photopolymerization of Olefinic Compounds

The face-to-face stacking interaction between phenyl and perfluorophenyl groups is emerging as a common noncovalent interaction. To explore the generality of this supramolecular synthon, the solid-state packing structure and reactivity of several monoolefins and diolefins substituted with phenyl and perfluorophenyl groups was investigated. Of the seven crystalline or cocrystalline materials investigated, six were found to undergo a photochemically induced [2+2] reaction in the solid state. By determining the stereochemistry of the photoproduct and/or X-ray structural analysis of the olefinic precursors, the stacked interaction between phenyl and perfluorophenyl groups in the photoactive crystals were revealed.