The synthesis and characterisation of two terpyridine based ruthenium/palladium heteronuclear compounds are presented. The photocatalytic behaviour of the Ru/Pd complex containing the linear 2,2′:5′,2′′-terpyridine bridge (1a) and its analogue the non-linear 2,2′:6′,2′′-terpyridine bridge (2a) are compared together with the respective mononuclear complexes 1 and 2. Irradiation of 1a with visible light (e.g., 470 nm) results in the photocatalytic generation of dihydrogen gas. Photocatalysis was not observed with complex 2a by contrast. A comparison with the photocatalytic behaviour of the precursors 1 and 2 indicates, that while for 1a the photocatalysis is an intramolecular process, for the mononuclear precursors it is intermolecular. The photophysical and electrochemical properties of the mono- and heterobinuclear compounds are compared. Raman spectroscopy and DFT calculations indicate that there are substantial differences in the nature of the lowest energy 3MLCT states of 1a and 2a, from which the contrasting photocatalytic activities of the complexes can be understood.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Dalton Discussion 13: Inorganic photophysics and photochemistry –Fundamentals and applications