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Synthesis and Properties of an Aggregating Heterocyclic Helicene

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journal contribution
posted on 06.11.2001, 00:00 by Karen E. S. Phillips, Thomas J. Katz, Steffen Jockusch, Andrew J. Lovinger, Nicholas J. Turro
Heterohelicene 10 is synthesized in six steps from 3,3‘-bithienyl. Because the number of steps is small, because the yield is 95% in the last (the reaction of a bis-enol ether with 1,4-benzoquinonea six-step one pot procedure that constructs the helicene skeleton), and because chromatography is not required to purify any of the products in the synthesis, significant amounts are easily prepared. To convert 10 into enantiopure 3, a helicenebisquinone surrounded by four dodecyloxy groups, requires only a precedented three-step sequence. Enantiopure helicene 3, either without solvent or in dodecane (but not in chloroform) aggregates into columnar structures whose optical properties differ markedly from those of the monomer but resemble those shown previously only by aggregates of 1. Evidence of aggregation in the pure material includes optical microscopic observation of long fibrous structures and X-ray diffraction and combined transmission electron microscopic and electron diffraction analyses showing the molecules within the fibers to be organized in columnar arrays. The circular dichroism spectra, specific rotations, and fluorescent emission spectra of the aggregated structures are all distinctive, and, as reported elsewhere, the second harmonic response is very large. The linear polarizations of the monomers' and aggregates' fluorescent emissions differ greatly. The circular polarization of the aggregates' fluorescent emission, after excitation by unpolarized light, is large.