Ferrocene donor linked to pyridine/pyridinium acceptor via a systematically enlarged π-linker†
Nine chromophores with ferrocene donor and pyridine/pyridinium acceptors have been prepared and further investigated. The performed X-ray analysis showed partially polarized and geometrically oblate pyridine unit. An extension of the π-system and N-quaternization were revealed as suitable tools for exclusive manipulation of the LUMO with the almost steady HOMO. Whereas the electrochemical HOMO–LUMO gap can be tuned from 3.01 to 1.49 eV, the high- and low-energy absorption bands were found within the range of 280–402/456–547 nm. The pyridinium chromophores showed distinct negative solvatochromism. A thorough DFT analysis has been performed; it turned out that ferrocene donor is capable of two principal D–A interactions, whose employment depends on the appended electron-withdrawing moiety.