“Push–push and push–pull” polystannanes†
The synthesis and characterization of polystannanes with “push” or “pull” moieties attached to the tin backbone are described. Precursor tetra aryl- (1, 2) stannanes were converted to mono- (3) and dichloro- (4, 5) stannanes by either sequential chlorination or by redistribution reactions with SnCl4. Compounds 4 and 5 were transformed to polymerisable tin dihydride monomers 6 and 7 using a large excess (10×) of NaBH4. Homopolymer 8 with electron donating aryl substituents (p-MeOC6H4-) was synthesized by dehydrogenative polymerization using Wilkinson's catalyst. Attempts to prepare the homopolymer 9 with electron withdrawing aryl substituents (p-CF3C6H4-) from the dehydrocoupling of 7 using similar conditions led only to the formation of low molecular weight oligomeric species. Two alternating polymers, 10 and 11, were synthesized by condensation polymerization of (n-Bu)2Sn(NEt2)2 with monomers 6 or 7. The first was a “push–push” alternating polymer, 10, comprised of a repeating unit consisting of two different electron donating groups (p-MeOC6H4-, n-Bu) at neighboring tin centres. The second was a “push–pull” alternating polymer, 11, bearing both an electron donating group (n-Bu) and a strongly electron withdrawing substituent (p-CF3C6H4-) at neighboring tin atoms. All small molecule stannanes and tin-containing polymers were characterized by NMR (1H, 13C, 119Sn, and where required 19F) spectroscopy, MS or EA. The absolute molecular weights of tin polymers (8, 10, 11) were determined by triple detection GPC and in the range of 1.07 × 104 to 1.95 × 104 Da. Rapid photodegradation of polymers was observed by UV-Vis spectroscopy, with a slower degradation observed for the “push–pull” polymer, 11, compared to the “push–push” polymer, 10.