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Determining the Conformational Landscape of σ and π Coupling Using para-Phenylene and “Aviram–Ratner” Bridges

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posted on 29.07.2015 by Daniel E. Stasiw, Jinyuan Zhang, Guangbin Wang, Ranjana Dangi, Benjamin W. Stein, David A. Shultz, Martin L. Kirk, Lukasz Wojtas, Roger D. Sommer
The torsional dependence of donor–bridge–acceptor (D–B–A) electronic coupling matrix elements (HDA, determined from the magnetic exchange coupling, J) involving a spin SD = 1/2 metal semiquinone (Zn-SQ) donor and a spin SA = 1/2 nitronylnitroxide (NN) acceptor mediated by the σ/π-systems of para-phenylene and methyl-substituted para-phenylene bridges and by the σ-system of a bicyclo[2.2.2]­octane (BCO) bridge are presented and discussed. The positions of methyl group(s) on the phenylene bridge allow for an experimentally determined evaluation of conformationally dependent (π) and conformationally independent (σ) contributions to the electronic and magnetic exchange couplings in these D–B–A biradicals at parity of D and A. The trend in the experimental magnetic exchange couplings are well described by CASSCF calculations. The torsional dependence of the pairwise exchange interactions are further illuminated in three-dimensional, “Ramachandran-type” plots that relate D–B and B–A torsions to both electronic and exchange couplings. Analysis of the magnetic data shows large variations in magnetic exchange (J ≈ 1–175 cm–1) and electronic coupling (HDA ≈ 450–6000 cm–1) as a function of bridge conformation relative to the donor and acceptor. This has allowed for an experimental determination of both the σ- and π-orbital contributions to the exchange and electronic couplings.