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Luminescent Dinuclear Ruthenium Terpyridine Complexes with a Bis-Phenylbenzimidazole Spacer

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journal contribution
posted on 27.06.2017, 19:17 by Debiprasad Mondal, Sourav Biswas, Animesh Paul, Sujoy Baitalik
A conjugated bis-terpyridine bridging ligand, 2-(4-(2,6-di­(pyridin-2-yl)­pyridin-4-yl)­phenyl)-6-(2-(4-(2,6-di­(pyridin-2-yl)­pyridin-4-yl)­phenyl)-1H-benzo­[d]­imidazol-6-yl)-1H-benzo­[d] imidazole (tpy-BPhBzimH2-tpy), was designed in this work by covalent coupling of 3,3′-diaminobenzidine and two 4′-(p-formylphenyl)-2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine units to synthesize a new series of bimetallic Ru­(II)-terpyridine light-harvesting complexes. Photophysical and electrochemical properties were modulated by the variation of the terminal ligands in the complexes. The new compounds were thoroughly characterized by 1H NMR spectroscopy, high-resolution mass spectrometry, and elemental analysis. Absorption spectra of the complexes consist of very strong ligand-centered π–π* and n−π* transitions in the UV, metal-to-ligand, and intraligand charge transfer bands in the visible regions. Steady-state and time-resolved emission spectral measurements indicate that the complexes exhibit moderately intense luminescence at room temperature within the spectral domain of 653–687 nm having luminescence lifetimes in the range between 6.3 and 55.2 ns, depending upon terminal tridentate ligand and solvent. Variable-temperature luminescence measurements suggest substantial increase of the energy gap between luminescent 3metal-to-ligand charge transfer state and nonluminescent 3metal centered in the complexes compared to the parent [Ru­(tpy)2]2+. Each of the three bimetallic complexes exhibits only one reversible couple in the positive potential window with almost no detectable splitting corresponding to simultaneous oxidation of the two remote Ru centers. All the complexes possess a number of imidazole NH protons, which became sufficiently acidic upon metal ion coordination. By utilizing these NH protons, we thoroughly studied anion recognition properties of the complexes in pure organic as well as predominantly aqueous media through multiple optical channels and spectroscopic methods. Finally computation investigations employing density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT were done to examine the electronic structures of the complexes and accurate assignment of experimentally observed optical spectral bands.