meso-Substituted octabromoporphyrins: synthesis, spectroscopy, electrochemistry and electronic structure
The free-base, copper(II) and zinc(II) derivatives of 5,10,15,20-tetraarylporphyrin (aryl = phenyl, 4-methylphenyl or 4-chlorophenyl) and the corresponding brominated 2,3,7,8,12,13,17,18-octabromo-5,10,15,20-tetraarylporphyrin derivatives have been synthesized and their spectral and redox properties compared by UV/VIS, 1H NMR, ESR and cyclic voltammetric methods. Substitution with the electron-withdrawing bromine groups at the pyrrole carbons has a profound influence on the UV/VIS and 1H NMR spectral features and also on the redox potentials of these systems. On the other hand, electron-withdrawing chloro or electron-donating methyl groups at the para positions of the four phenyl rings have only a marginal effect on the spectra and redox potentials of both the brominated and the non-brominated derivatives. The ESR data for the copper(II) derivatives of all these systems reveal that substitution at either the β-pyrrole carbons and/or the para positions of the meso-phenyl groups does not significantly affect the spin-Hamiltonian parameters that describe the metal centre in each case. Collectively, these observations suggest that the highest-occupied (HOMO) and lowest-unoccupied molecular orbitals (LUMO) of the octabromoporphyrins involve the porphyrin π-ring system as is the case with the non-brominated derivatives. Investigations have been carried out to probe the electronic structures of these systems by three different approaches involving spectral and redox potential data as well as AM1 calculations. The results obtained suggest that the electron-withdrawing β-bromine substituents stabilize the LUMOs and, to a lesser degree, the HOMOs and that the extent of these changes can be fine-tuned, in a subtle way, by substituting at the meso-aryl rings of a given porphyrin.