American Chemical Society
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Investigation of Tightly Coupled Porphyrin Arrays Comprised of Identical Monomers for Multibit Information Storage

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journal contribution
posted on 2000-09-23, 00:00 authored by Christian Clausen, Daniel T. Gryko, Amir A. Yasseri, James R. Diers, David F. Bocian, Werner G. Kuhr, Jonathan S. Lindsey
Our prior designs for molecular-based information storage devices have employed multiple redox-active units organized in weakly coupled, covalently linked arrays. To explore a simpler design, we report here the synthesis of porphyrin arrays where porphyrins with identical oxidation potentials are directly linked to one another instead of joined via a molecular linker. Oxidative coupling with AgPF6 of zinc(II)-5,15-bis(4-tert-butylphenyl)-10-phenylporphyrin, obtained by a rational synthesis, afforded the expected dimer joined by a meso-meso linkage and an unexpected trimer joined by meso-meso linkages. For attachment to an electroactive surface we synthesized a meso-linked porphyrin dimer with a thiol-linker in one of the meso positions. The S-acetyl protecting group was used to avoid handling free thiol groups. Coupling of zinc(II)-5,10,15-tris(3,5-di-tert-butylphenyl)porphyrin (“upper half”) and zinc(II)-5-[4-(S-acetylthio)phenyl]-10,20-bis(3,5-di-tert-butylphenyl)porphyrin (“lower half”) afforded three different meso-linked dimers with the desired dimer as the main product. Electrochemical examination of the meso-linked dimer in solution shows that the first two oxidation potentials of the array differ by ∼0.15 V and straddle the value exhibited by the monomeric constituents. The third and fourth oxidation potentials of the array are also split although to a lesser extent (∼0.08 V) than the first and second. For the meso-linked trimer, the first three oxidation waves are also split; however, these waves are severely overlapped. The electrochemical behavior of the dimers and trimer is indicative of strong electronic interactions among the porphyrins. The thiol-derivatized meso-linked dimers form self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) on gold via in situ cleavage of the S-acetylthio protecting group. The porphyrin SAM exhibits four well-resolved oxidation waves. Regardless, the meso−meso linkage is relatively unstable upon formation of the π-cation radical(s). This characteristic indicates that the structural motif is of limited utility for molecular information storage elements.