Impact of iodine loading and substitution position on intersystem crossing efficiency in a series of ten methylated-meso-phenyl-BODIPY dyes†
Four core and six distyryl-extended methylated-meso-phenyl-BODIPY dyes with varying iodine content were synthesized. The influence of iodine loading and substitution position on the photophysical properties of these chromophores was evaluated. Selective iodine insertion at the 2- and 6-positions of the methylated-meso-phenyl-BODIPY core, rather than maximum iodine content, resulted in the highest intersystem crossing efficiency. Iodination of the distyryl-extended BODIPY core afforded intersystem crossing quantum yields comparable to 2,6-diiodo-BODIPY. Inclusion of an iodine at the para–meso-phenyl position generally enhanced non-radiative decay in the BODIPY excited-state, leading to lower fluorescence and intersystem crossing quantum yield values. Iodine substitution at the styryl-positions resulted in negligible changes to the excited-state dynamics. This study highlights: (1) the rate of radiative decay is similar in all ten derivatives (on the order of 1 × 108 s−1), (2) iodination of the 2,6-positions results in the greatest enhancement of intersystem crossing efficiency, (3) care must be taken when modifying the para–meso-phenyl position as it could have detrimental effects on the excited-state dynamics, (4) the excited-state is negligibly affected by iodination of the styryl groups, potentially enabling orthogonal functionalization without modifying the molecular photophysics, (5) distyryl extension of the chromophore core diminishes rates of non-radiative decay and intersystem crossing, resulting in higher fluorescence quantum yields and lower intersystem crossing yields in the π-extended derivatives compared to the core BDP derivatives, and (6) DFT calculations provide insight into the electronic and structural factors regulating intersystem crossing and vibrational relaxation in these molecules.