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Fourteen new complexes of the form cis-[Ru IIX 2(R 2qpy 2+) 2] 4+ (R 2qpy 2+ = a 4,4′:2′,2″:4″,4‴-quaterpyridinium ligand, X = Cl - or NCS -) have been prepared and isolated as their PF 6 - salts. Characterisation involved various techniques including 1H NMR spectroscopy and +electrospray or MALDI mass spectrometry. The UV-Vis spectra display intense intraligand π → π * absorptions, and also metal-to-ligand charge-transfer (MLCT) bands with two resolved maxima in the visible region. Red-shifts in the MLCT bands occur as the electron-withdrawing strength of the pyridinium groups increases, while replacing Cl - with NCS - causes blue-shifts. Cyclic voltammograms show quasi-reversible or reversible Ru III/II oxidation waves, and several ligand-based reductions that are irreversible. The variations in the redox potentials correlate with changes in the MLCT energies. A single-crystal X-ray structure has been obtained for a protonated form of a proligand salt, [(4-(CO 2H)Ph) 2qpyH 3+][HSO 4] 3·3H 2O. Time-dependent density functional theory calculations give adequate correlations with the experimental UV-Vis spectra for the two carboxylic acid-functionalised complexes in DMSO. Despite their attractive electronic absorption spectra, these dyes are relatively inefficient photosensitisers on electrodes coated with TiO 2 or ZnO. These observations are attributed primarily to weak electronic coupling with the surfaces, since the DFT-derived LUMOs include no electron density near the carboxylic acid anchors.