Rigid Core Anthracene and Anthraquinone Linked Nitronyl and Iminoyl Nitroxide Biradicals

The first syntheses of bis­(nitronyl nitroxide) and bis­(iminoyl nitroxide) (diNN, diIN) biradicals linked through rigid acene core conjugating anthracene (A) and anthraquinone (AQ) units are reported. Computational modeling predicts weak intramolecular exchange in AQ-linked systems, but A-linked biradicals to have ground state multiplicities consistent with the Borden-Davidson disjointness model. Solution electron spin resonance spectra showed inter-radical exchange-coupled triplet states, except for 2,6-AQ biradicals showing isolated spin spectra. Crystallography of the A-linked biradicals shows a key role for inter-radical contacts for molecular packing. DiINs showed lower-dimensional dyad packing with disorder at the radical units: the conformationally more symmetrical diNNs gave staircase one-dimensional or brickwork two-dimensional lattices. Core anthracene unit stacking was only seen in two systems with bromine on the central anthracene ring: the (large) bromine occupies alternate side placement in dyad stacks for the diIN, chain stacks for the diNN. Magnetism of 2,7-A-linked systems showed predominant ferromagnetic intramolecular triplet-singlet splitting of 24–28 K for diNNs and 8 K for diINs, plus weak antiferromagnetic (AFM) interactions from intermolecular contacts. The 2,6-A-linked biradicals showed AFM exchange between spins. Both A and AQ cores offer possibilities for electronic material development, with a combination of multiple radical spins and π-electron-rich acene cores.