Multichromophoric hybrid species made of perylene bisimide derivatives and Ru(ii) and Os(ii) polypyridine subunits†
Herein, the synthesis and the photophysical and redox properties of a new perylene bisimide (PBI) species (L), bearing two 1,10-phenanthroline (phen) ligands at the two imide positions of the PBI, and its dinuclear Ru(II) and Os(II) complexes, [(bpy)2Ru(μ-L)Ru(bpy)2](PF6)4 (Ru2; bpy = 2,2′-bipyridine) and [(Me2-bpy)2Os(μ-L)Os(Me2-bpy)2](PF6)4 (Os2; Me2-bpy = (4,4′-dimethyl)-2,2′-bipyridine), are reported. The absorption spectra of the compounds are dominated by the structured bands of the PBI subunit due to the lowest-energy spin-allowed π–π* transition. The spin-allowed MLCT transitions in Ru2 and Os2 are inferred by the absorption at 350–470 nm, where the PBI absorption is negligible. The absorption band extends towards the red region for Os2 due to the spin-forbidden MLCT transitions, intensified by the heavy osmium center. The reduction processes of the compounds are dominated by two successive mono-electronic PBI-based processes, which in the metal complexes are slightly shifted compared to the free ligand. On oxidation, both metal complexes undergo an apparent bi-electronic process (at 1.31 V vs. SCE for Ru2 and 0.77 V for Os2), attributed to the simultaneous one-electron oxidation of the two weakly-interacting metal centers. In Ru2 and Os2, the intense fluorescence of L subunit (λmax, 535 nm; τ, 4.3 ns; Φ, 0.91) is fully quenched, mainly by photoinduced electron transfer from the metal centers, on the ps timescale (time constant, 11 ps in Ru2 and 3 ps in Os2). Such photoinduced electron transfer leads to the formation of a charge-separated state, which directly decays to the ground state in about 70 ps in Os2, but produces the triplet π–π* state of the PBI subunit in 35 ps in Ru2. The results provide information on the excited-state processes of the hybrid species combining two dominant classes of chromophore/luminophore species, the PBI and the metal polypyridine complexes, and can be used for future design on new hybrid species with made-to-order properties.