A comparison of the metal-ligand interactions of the pentafluorophenylethynyl and trifluoropropynyl ligands in transition metal cyclam complexes

ACS Citation

Eddy, L. E.; Thakker, P. U.; McMillen, C. D.; Pienkos, J. A.; Cordoba, J. J.; Edmunds, C. E.; Wagenknecht, P. S. A comparison of the metal-ligand interactions of the pentafluorophenylethynyl and trifluoropropynyl ligands in transition metal cyclam complexes. Inorg. Chim. Acta, 2019, 486, 141-149.


The pentafluorophenylethynyl ligand, C2C6F5, is a commonly used electron withdrawing ligand. In the context of developing complexes with blue-shifted emission for organic light emitting diode applications, it is often necessary to have electron poor ligands that are also relatively high on the spectrochemical series. The trifluoropropynyl ligand, C2CF3, is also electron withdrawing and has never been directly compared to C2C6F5. Herein complexes of the type trans-[M(cyclam)(C2R)2]OTf, where M = CoIII and CrIII and C2R = C2C6F5, are prepared and characterized by X-ray crystallography, cyclic voltammetry, and UV-Vis, IR, and Raman spectroscopy. Emission spectroscopy for the CrIII complex is also reported. These C2C6F5 complexes are compared to the corresponding complexes where C2R = C2CF3, and C2C6H5. For trans-[Co(cyclam)(C2R)2]OTf, the reversible CoIII/II reduction for the C2C6F5 complex occurs 120 mV more cathodic than that for the C2CF3 complex, indicating that C2CF3 is more electron withdrawing, a conclusion that is supported by analysis of CC stretching frequencies. The lowest energy metal-centered (MC) 1A1g → 1T2g absorption band for the C2CF3 and C2C6F5 complexes in CH3CN appear at 425 and 438 nm, respectively, suggesting that C2CF3 is a stronger field ligand. In the region of the LMCT transitions, the absorption spectra for the trans-[Cr(cyclam)(C2R)2]OTf complexes, where C2R = C2C6H5 and C2C6F5, show significant vibronic structure that is also superimposed on the MC transitions, suggesting some degree of charge transfer character in the latter. The CrIII complexes are all emissive in room-temperature fluid solution with the C2CF3 complex showing significant fine structure and the C2C6H5 and C2C6F5 complex emission being broad, structureless, and redshifted by comparison. This suggests that emission in the C2CF3 complex is of 2Eg (Oh) origin and emission for the C2C6H5 and C2C6F5 complexes is of 2T1g (Oh) origin. Emission for all CrIII complexes in 77 K glass shows significant fine structure. The presence of a dominant 0-0′ emission band in the C2C6H5 and C2C6F5complexes suggests a non-centrosymmetric ground state. This is supported by the crystal structure for trans-[Cr(cyclam)(C2C6F5)2]OTf that shows an angle of 77.8° between the planes defined by the aryl rings.

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Inorganica Chimica Acta

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