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Essential Role of the Ancillary Ligand in the Color Tuning of Iridium Tetrazolate Complexes

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journal contribution
posted on 17.11.2008, 00:00 by Stefano Stagni, Silvia Colella, Antonio Palazzi, Giovanni Valenti, Stefano Zacchini, Francesco Paolucci, Massimo Marcaccio, Rodrigo Q. Albuquerque, Luisa De Cola
We report on the synthesis and physical chemical characterization of a class of heteroleptic mononuclear cyclometalated bis(phenylpyridine)iridium(III) complexes with tetrazolate chelate ligands, such as the deprotonated form of 2-(1H-tetrazol-5-yl)pyridine (PyTzH), 2-(1H-tetrazol-5-yl)pyrazine (PzTzH), and 5-bromo-2-(1H-tetrazol-5-yl)pyridine (BrPyTzH). The electrochemical and photophysical investigations of the resulting iridium(III) complexes revealed a rather wide span of redox and emission properties as a consequence of the nature of the ancillary tetrazolate ligand. In particular, within a series of the three neutral species, the emission observed changes from the blue-green of the pyridyltetrazolate complex to the red of that containing the pyrazinyltetrazolate ligand. The bromo-containing species, despite it displaying poor photophysical performances, is a synthetically attractive building block for the construction of polymetallic architectures. Moreover, the investigation of the reactivity toward electrophiles of one of the neutral mononuclear complexes, by methylation of the coordinated tetrazolate ligand, has also allowed further tuning of the electronic properties. In the latter case, the emission color tuning is also associated with a simple method for the conversion of a neutral species, a potentially triplet emitter for organic light-emitting devices, into the corresponding methylated cation, which might be used as a dopant for light-emitting electrochemical cell type devices or as a marker for biological labeling.