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Issue 6, 2020
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On the photophysical properties of IrIII, PtII, and PdII (phenylpyrazole) (phenyldipyrrin) complexes

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The absorption and emission characteristics of (ppz)2(dipy)IrIII, (ppz)(dipy)PtII and (ppz)(dipy)PdII, where ppz stands for phenylpyrazole and dipy for a phenyl meso-substituted dipyrrin ligand, have been investigated by means of combined density functional theory and multireference configuration interaction including scalar relativistic and spin–orbit coupling effects. These results were compared with experimental spectra. The complexes exhibit a high density of low-lying electronically excited states originating from ligand-centered (LC) and metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) states involving the dipyrrin ligand. In addition, metal-centered (MC) states are found to be low-lying in the Pd complex. In all three cases, the first strong absorption band and the phosphorescence emission band stem from LC excitations on the dipyrrin ligand with small MLCT contributions. The MLCT states show more pronounced relaxation effects than the LC states, with the consequence that the first excited state with predominant singlet multiplicity is of SMLCT/LC type in the heavier Ir and Pt complexes. Substantial spin–orbit coupling between SMLCT/LC and TLC enables fast and efficient intersystem crossing (ISC) and a high triplet quantum yield. Phosphorescence rate constants are rather small in accord with the dominant LC character of the transitions. Out-of-plane distortion promotes nonradiative decay of the excited state population via the MC states thus explaining the lower phosphorescence quantum yield of the Pt complex. The spectral properties of the Pd complex are different in many aspects. Optimization of the S1 state yields a dipyrrin intraligand charge transfer (ILCT) state with highly distorted nuclear arrangement in the butterfly conformers leading to nonradiative deactivation. In contrast, the primarily excited SLC state and the SMLCT/LC state of the twist conformer have nearly equal adiabatic excitation energies. The lack of a driving force toward the SMLCT/LC minimum, the high fluorescence rate constant of the bright SLC state and its moderately efficient ISC to the triplet manifold explain the experimentally observed dual emission of the Pd complex at room temperature.

Graphical abstract: On the photophysical properties of IrIII, PtII, and PdII (phenylpyrazole) (phenyldipyrrin) complexes

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Supplementary files

Article information

14 Oct 2019
20 Jan 2020
First published
20 Jan 2020

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020,22, 3217-3233
Article type

On the photophysical properties of IrIII, PtII, and PdII (phenylpyrazole) (phenyldipyrrin) complexes

J. Föller, D. H. Friese, S. Riese, J. M. Kaminski, S. Metz, D. Schmidt, F. Würthner, C. Lambert and C. M. Marian, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, 22, 3217
DOI: 10.1039/C9CP05603C

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