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Synthesis and Surface Self-Assembly of [3]Rotaxane−Porphyrin Conjugates: Toward the Development of a Supramolecular Surface Tweezer for C60

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journal contribution
posted on 07.10.2008, 00:00 by Jean-Sébastien Marois, Jean-François Morin
Surface immobilization of pristine C60 by supramolecular interactions is an attractive way to introduce C60 on surfaces since the π-electron network and the electronic properties of C60 remain intact. Several hosts have been developed for surface complexation of C60. With few exceptions, the hosts reported to date are “electronically inert”, limiting the potential applications of pristine C60-based devices. In this study, we present the synthesis and self-assembly of a potential tweezer-like host for C60 having a light-harvesting moiety and an electron-donating unit. More precisely, an azide-containing [3]rotaxane scaffold having ferrocene moieties as blocking group and thioctic acid as anchoring group for a gold surface has been synthesized. This [3]rotaxane has been self-assembled on gold in its protonated (NH2+) (1p) and neutral (NH) (1n) forms and characterized using electrochemistry, XPS, and contact angle measurements. The SAMs were functionalized with free-base and zinc porphyrin using copper-catalyzed 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition in optimized conditions. In combination with C60, this new host is expected to form a triad that could potentially be used as active building block in the preparation of nanostructured electrodes for photoelectrochemical application.