Platinum complexes bearing normal and mesoionic N-heterocyclic carbene based pincer ligands: syntheses, structures, and photo-functional attributes
Platinum complexes featuring pyridine bis-N-heterocyclic-imidazol-2-ylidene/-mesoionic-triazol-5-ylidene donors as pincer ligands and chloro (–Cl), acetonitrile (–NCCH3) or cyano (–CN) groups as auxiliary ligands are prepared as highly strained organometallic phosphors. X-ray structures of four of these complexes confirm a distorted square planar geometry, where the pincer ligand and its mesityl wingtips occur in a twisted conformation to each other. Electrochemical and photophysical characterization have been carried out and the experimental results are interpreted with the aid of density functional theory calculations. Emission responses of complexes under exposure to different vapors and mechanical shear are reported. Notably, the platinum complex featuring pyridine bis-imidazol-2-ylidene and a weakly donating acetonitrile auxiliary ligand exhibited strong aquachromic and mechanochromic emission responses, showing color changes from sky blue to green or yellow-green.