Mixed valence radical cations and intermolecular complexes derived from indenofluorene-extended tetrathiafulvalenes†
Engineering of mixed-valence (MV) radical cations and intermolecular complexes based on π-extended tetrathiafulvalenes (TTFs) is central for the development of organic conductors. On another front, redox-controlled dimerization of radical cations has recently been recognized as an important tool in supramolecular chemistry. Here we show that π-extended TTFs based on the indenofluorene core, prepared by Horner–Wadsworth–Emmons reactions, undergo reversible and stepwise one-electron oxidations and that the detectable, intermediate radical cation forms remarkably strong intermolecular MV ([neutral·cation]) and π-dimer ([cation·cation]) complexes with near-infrared radical cation absorptions. The radical cation itself seems to be a so-called Class III MV species in the Robin–Day classification. The formation of MV dimers was corroborated by ESR spectroelectrochemical studies, revealing two slightly different ESR signals upon oxidation, one assigned to the MV dimer and the other to the cation monomer. Crystals of the radical cation with different anions (PF6−, BF4−, and TaF6−) were grown by electrocrystallization. Conductance studies revealed that the salts behave as semiconductors with the hexafluorotantalate salt exhibiting the highest conductance. Using a custom-built ESR spectrometer with sub-femtomole sensitivity, the magnetic properties of one crystal were investigated. While the spin-to-spin interaction between radical cations was negligible, a high cooperativity coupling to the microwave field was observed – as a result of an exceptionally narrow spin line width and high spin density. This could have great potential for applications in quantum computation where crystalline spin ensembles are exploited for their long coherence times.