Bis(tridentate) Iron(II) Complexes with a Cyclometalating Unit: Photophysical Property Enhancement with Combinatorial Strong Ligand Field Effect


8.  A series of bis(tridentate) cyclometalated oligopyridine complexes [FeII(C∧N∧N)(L)]+ have been synthesized via the reactions of [FeII(C∧Npy∧Npy)Br(PMe3)2] (1, HC∧Npy∧Npy = 6- (phenyl)-2,2′-bipyridine) and [FeII(C∧Nppy∧Nisoquin)Br(PMe3)2] (2, HC∧Nppy∧Nisoquin = 3-(4,6-diphenylpyridin-2-yl)isoquinoline) with tridentate ligands L, affording [FeII(C∧Npy∧Npy)(4′-R-tpy)]+ (3a−e, R = H, Cl, p-ClC6H4, p-MeOC6H4, p-tol, respectively; tpy = 2,2′:6′,2″-terpyridine), [FeII(C∧Nppy∧Nisoquin)(tpy)]+ (4), [FeII(C∧Npy∧Npy)(6-(Ph2PCH2)-bpy)]+ (5, bpy = 2,2′-bipyridine), and [FeII(C∧Npy∧Npy)(6-NHC-bpy)]+ (6, NHC = N-heterocyclic carbene). Complexes 3−6 exhibit bathochromically shifted absorption bands, markedly cathodically shifted E1/2(FeIII/FeII) values, and narrowed electrochemical band gaps in comparison to those of [FeII(tpy)2] 2+, as revealed by UV−vis absorption spectroscopy and cyclic voltammetry. DFT and TDDFT calculation studies revealed strong mixing of MLCT with LLCT transitions as origins to the major absorption bands. Complex 6 incorporating a cyclometalating unit and an NHC donor exhibits panchromic absorption, and 5 shows markedly enhanced molar absorptivity in the visible region. A femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopic study of 6, coupled with DFT and TDDFT calculations and spectroelectrochemical measurements, gave evidence for the possible involvement of a 3 MLCT state with a lifetime of 21.4 ps. (Organometallics 2020, 39, 2791−2802. DOI: 10.1021/acs.organomet.0c00149)