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Structural Studies and Photochromism of Mercury(II)−Iodo Complexes of (Arylazo)imidazoles

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posted on 05.02.2007, 00:00 by K. K. Sarker, B. G. Chand, K. Suwa, J. Cheng, T.-H. Lu, J. Otsuki, C. Sinha
Neat reaction between HgI2 and 1-methyl-2-(phenylazo)imidazole (Pai-Me) under microwave irradiation has isolated a novel compound whose structure shows intercalated HgI2 in the layers of Pai-Me. They exist independently in interpenetrated arrays. In a solution phase study, the same reaction has synthesized an iodo-bridged azoimidazole−Hg(II) complex, [Hg(RaaiR‘)(μ-I)(I)]2 (RaaiR‘ = 1-alkyl-2-(arylazo)imidazole). The structures have been characterized by X-ray diffraction studies. Chloro-bridged Hg(II) complexes of azoimidazoles, [Hg(RaaiR‘)(μ-Cl)(Cl)]2, are also known. These complexes upon irradiation with UV light show trans-to-cis isomerization. The reverse transformation, cis-to-trans isomerization, is very slow with visible light irradiation. Quantum yields (φtc) of trans-to-cis isomerization are calculated, and the free ligand shows higher φ than their Hg(II) complexes. The cis-to-trans isomerization is a thermally induced process. The activation energy (Ea) of cis-to-trans isomerization is calculated by controlled temperature reaction. The Ea's of free ligands are much higher than that of halo-bridged Hg(II)−azoimidazole complexes. Chloro-bridged Hg(II) complexes show lower Ea's than those of iodo-bridged complexes. DFT calculation has been adopted to rationalize the experimental results.