Electronic, Spectroscopic, and Ion-Sensing Properties of a Dehydro[m]pyrido- and annulene Isomer Library
An isomeric series of dehydro[m]pyrido[n]annulenes incorporating strained 1,4-buta-1,3-diyne units have been synthesized, where m = 2, n = 14 (1a–d); m = 2, n = 15 (2a,b); and m = 3, n = 15 (3). The number of pyridine rings and annulene ring π-electrons are denoted by m and n, respectively. The X-ray crystal structures of 1b and 1c confirmed their cyclic formulation. All macrocycles were found to be luminescent chromophores with differing isomer-dependent proton and metal ion-sensory emission responses, which appear collectively as analyte-specific color patterns. Within the series studied, 1a was singular in displaying the highest luminescence quantum yield and sharing the strongest emission energy and molar absorption changes upon protonation and HgII binding. Spectroscopic and electrochemical results were supported by density functional theory calculations in showing 1a, 2a, and 3 to be low bandgap materials with lowest unoccupied molecular orbitals delocalized over the 1,4-di(pyridin-4-yl)buta-1,3-diyne bridges that provide a pathway for electronic communication between the nitrogens. Overall, the investigations suggest that 1a, 2a, and 3 would be excellent ligands for the construction of novel conjugated hybrid metallosupramolecular nanostructures, polymers, and ion-sensory systems.
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