Indexed on: 15 May '09Published on: 15 May '09Published in: Dalton Transactions
Fulgimides monosubstituted with [M(bpy)(3)](2+) (M = Ru, Os; bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine) chromophore units and with a single bpy group were synthesized and investigated as components of conceivable dinuclear photochromic switches of luminescence. The E-, Z- and closed-ring (C) photoisomer forms of the bpy-bound fulgimide were successfully separated by semi-preparative HPLC. The same procedure failed, however, in the case of the [M(bpy)(3)](2+)-substituted fulgimides. Energy transfer from the excited photochromic unit to the metal-bpy centre competes with the fulgimide cyclization, reducing the photocyclization quantum yields by approximately one order of magnitude compared to the non-complexed fulgimide-bpy ligand (phi(EC) = 0.17, phi(EZ) = 0.071, phi(ZE) = 0.15 at lambda(exc) = 334 nm). The cycloreversion of the fulgimide-bpy ligand is less efficient (phi(CE) = 0.047 at lambda(exc) = 520 nm). The intensity of the (3)MLCT-based luminescence of the metal-bpy chromophore (in MeCN, phi(deaer) = 6.6 x 10(-2) and tau(deaer) = 1.09 micros for Ru; phi(deaer) = 6.7 x 10(-3) and tau(deaer) = 62 ns for Os) is not affected by the fulgimide photoconversion. These results and supporting spectro-electrochemical data reveal that the lowest triplet excited states of the photochromic fulgimide moiety in all its E-, Z- and closed-ring forms lie above the lowest (3)MLCT levels of the attached ruthenium and osmium chromophores. The actual components are therefore unlikely to form a triad acting as functional switch of energy transfer from [Ru(bpy)(3)](2+) to [Os(bpy)(3)](2+) through the photochromic fulgimide bridge.