Synthesis, optical properties, and aggregation behavior of a triad system based on perylene and oligo(p-phenylene vinylene) units

Asha Syamakumari, Albertus P H J Schenning, E W Meijer
Chemistry: a European Journal 2002 August 2, 8 (15): 3353-61
A donor-acceptor-donor triad molecule with a perylene bisimide derivative as electron acceptor, and an oligo(p-phenylene vinylene) (OPV) derivative as electron donor was synthesized (OPV-PERY-OPV). The structure of the triad was characterized by (1)H and (13)C NMR spectroscopy, size-exclusion chromatography (SEC), and MALDI-TOF spectrometry. Absorbance spectra and CD spectroscopic measurements of the triad molecule indicated the formation of aggregates in solvents such as toluene, chloroform, and tetrachloroethane, whereas it was present in the molecularly dissolved state in THF. The (1)H NMR spectra of the molecule in chloroform had, unexpectedly, four doublet peaks for the perylene protons, instead of the two doublets that is generally seen in N,N'-substituted perylene molecules. To understand the aggregation behavior and the splitting of the signals in the (1)H NMR spectra, a simple model compound was synthesized, in which the OPV units were replaced by phenyl groups (Ph-PERY-Ph). (1)H NMR spectra in CDCl(3) and tetrachloroethane again had four doublet peaks for the perylene protons, whereas in THF the perylene protons gave only a single peak. NOE and COSY spectroscopy were used to assign the peaks to their corresponding perylene protons. UV/Vis and CD spectroscopic measurements indicated that, similar to the OPV-PERY-OPV triad molecule, the model compound Ph-PERY-Ph was also present in the aggregated form in solvents such as toluene, chloroform, and tetrachloroethane, and in the molecularly dissolved state in THF. IR measurements of the model molecule in the first set of solvents indicated carbamate bond (bond;OCObond;NHbond;)-induced intermolecular hydrogen bonding, whereas in THF, the molecule was mostly present in the free form. CPK models with a dimeric structure, in which two perylene molecules are held together by intermolecular hydrogen bonding with the perylene core shifted slightly with respect to one another, could account for the optical properties and the observation of the four different peaks in the (1)H NMR spectra in polar solvent. Temperature-dependent (1)H NMR spectroscopic, UV/Vis, and CD measurements indicated that the transition from the aggregated to the molecularly dissolved state took place at higher temperatures. The electrochemical studies indicated that OPV-PERY-OPV was both p- and n-dopable, whereas Ph-PERY-Ph was only n-dopable. Cyclic voltammetry measurements of Ph-PERY-Ph in THF had two reduction peaks corresponding to the reduction of the perylene core to the monoanion and dianion, respectively. In dichloromethane, however, an additional reduction peak at lower potential was observed. This new reduction peak might arise from the hydrogen-bonded species.

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