On the ambiguity of 1,3,2-benzodiazaboroles as donor/acceptor functionalities in luminescent molecules
A series of 1,3-bis(perfluoroaryl)-2-(hetero)aryl-1,3,2-benzodiazaboroles, 1,3-FAr2-2-Ar-1,3,2-N2BC6H4 (Ar = Ph, FAr = C6F55; Ar = Ph, FAr = 4-C5F4N 6; Ar = Ph, FAr = 4-NCC6F47; Ar = 2-C4H3S, FAr = C6F58; Ar = 2-C4H3S, FAr = 4-C5F4N 9; Ar = 2-C4H3S, FAr = 4-NCC6F410), were synthesised by cyclocondensation of the adducts PhBBr2·PPh3 or 2-thienylBBr2·PPh3 with N,N′-bis(perfluoroaryl)-o-phenylenediamines in the presence of 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine. Similar treatments of the PPh3 adducts of 4-(1′,3′-diethyl-1′,3′,2′-benzodiazaborolyl)-phenyldibromoborane with the corresponding diamines gave rise to the push–pull compounds, C6H4(NEt)2B-1,4-C6H4-B(NFAr)2C6H4 (FAr = C6F511; 4-C5F4N 12) and C6H4(NEt)2B-2,5-C4H2S-B(NFAr)2C6H4 (FAr = C6F513; 4-C5F4N 14). The X-ray structures of 8, 11, 12 and 13 were determined. Electronic structure calculations reveal that the LUMOs are located at the perfluoroaryl groups in 5–14; thus the fluorinated benzodiazaborolyl groups are considered as electron-withdrawing moieties. These moieties differ from alkylated benzodiazaborolyl groups which are regarded as donors. The emission spectra for 5–14 show charge transfer bands with significant solvatochromism and large Stokes shifts (6100–12500 cm−1 in cyclohexane and 8900–15900 cm−1 in CH2Cl2). The emissions of the benzodiazaboroles, 5–10, arise from a different charge transfer (CT) process to the local charge transfer (LCT) process typically found in many fluorescent benzodiazaboroles. This novel remote charge transfer (RCT) process involving the perfluoroaryl groups is supported by CAM-B3LYP computations. The push–pull systems 11–14 here give fluorescent emissions with moderate to high fluorescence quantum yields (65–97%) that arise from the usual LCT process only.