Luminescent metal complexes featuring photophysically innocent boron cluster ligands†
We report the synthesis and characterization of a series of d8 metal complexes featuring robust and photophysically innocent strong-field chelating 1,1′-bis(o-carborane) (bc) ligand frameworks. A combination of UV-Vis spectroscopy, single crystal X-ray structural analysis, and DFT calculations of these species suggest that the dianionic bc ligand does not contribute to any visible metal-to-ligand charge transfer (MLCT) transitions, yet it provides a strong ligand field in these complexes. Furthermore, a bc-based Pt(II) complex containing a 4,4′-di-tert-butyl-2,2′-bipyridine ligand (dtb-bpy) has been prepared and was found to display blue phosphorescent emission dominated by MLCT from the Pt(II) center to the dtb-bpy ligand. Importantly, the bulky three-dimensional nature of the bc ligand precludes intermolecular Pt(II)⋯Pt(II) interactions in the solid state where the resulting compounds retain their emission properties. This study opens a potentially new avenue for designing organic light-emitting diode (OLED) materials with tunable properties featuring photophysically innocent boron-rich cluster ligands.