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Issue 1, 2010
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Trinuclear ruthenium dioxolene complexes based on the bridging ligand hexahydroxytriphenylene: electrochemistry, spectroscopy, and near-infrared electrochromic behaviour associated with a reversible seven-membered redox chain

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Abstract

The trinuclear complexes [{(R2bipy)2Ru}33-HHTP)](PF6)3 [1(PF6)3, R = H; 2(PF6)3, R = 4-tBu] contain three {Ru(R2bipy)2}2+ fragments connected to the triangular tris-chelating ligand hexahydroxytriphenylene (H6HHTP). This bridging ligand contains three dioxolene-type binding sites, each of which can reversibly convert between dianionic catecholate (cat), monoanionic semiquinone (sq) or neutral quinone (q) redox states. The bridging ligand as a whole can therefore exist in seven different redox states from fully reduced [cat,cat,cat]6 through to fully oxidised, neutral [q,q,q]. Cyclic voltammetry of 1(PF6)3 in MeCN reveals six redox processes of which the three at more positive potentials (the sq/q couples) are reversible but the three at more negative potentials (the sq/cat couples) are irreversible with distorted wave shapes due to the insolubility of the reduced forms of the complex. In contrast, the more soluble complex 2(PF6)3 displays six reversible one-electron redox processes making all components of a seven-membered redox chain accessible. UV/Vis/NIR spectro-electrochemical studies reveal rich spectroscopic behaviour, with—in particular—very intense transitions in the near-IR region in many of the oxidation states associated with Ru(II)→(dioxolene) MLCT and bridging ligand centred π–π* transitions. TDDFT calculations were used to analyse the electronic spectra in all seven oxidation states; the calculated spectra generally show very good agreement with experiment, which has allowed a fairly complete assignment of the low-energy transitions. The strong electrochromism of the complexes in the near-IR region has formed the basis of an ‘optical window’ in which a thin film of 1(PF6)3 or 2(PF6)3 on a conductive glass surface can be reversibly and rapidly switched between redox states that alternate between strongly absorbing or near-transparent at 1100 nm, with—for 2(PF6)3—the switching being stable and reversible in water over thousands of cycles.

Graphical abstract: Trinuclear ruthenium dioxolene complexes based on the bridging ligand hexahydroxytriphenylene: electrochemistry, spectroscopy, and near-infrared electrochromic behaviour associated with a reversible seven-membered redox chain

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Publication details

The article was received on 02 Sep 2009, accepted on 23 Oct 2009 and first published on 20 Nov 2009


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/B918086A
Citation: Dalton Trans., 2010,39, 200-211
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    Trinuclear ruthenium dioxolene complexes based on the bridging ligand hexahydroxytriphenylene: electrochemistry, spectroscopy, and near-infrared electrochromic behaviour associated with a reversible seven-membered redox chain

    C. S. Grange, A. J. H. M. Meijer and M. D. Ward, Dalton Trans., 2010, 39, 200
    DOI: 10.1039/B918086A

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