Indexed on: 14 Oct '16Published on: 13 Oct '16Published in: Accounts of Chemical Research
Over the past couple of decades, coordination-driven self-assembly has evolved as a broad multidisciplinary domain that not only covers the syntheses of aesthetically pleasing supramolecular architectures but also emerges as a method to form new optical materials, chemical sensors, theranostic agents, and compounds with light-harvesting and emissive properties. The majority of these applications depend upon investigations that reveal the photophysical nature and electronic structure of supramolecular coordination complexes (SCCs), including two-dimensional (2D) metallacycles and three-dimensional (3D) metallacages. As such, well-defined absorption and emission spectra are important for a given SCC to be used for sensing, bioimaging, and other applications with molecular fluorescence being an important component. In this Account, we summarize the photophysical properties of some bis(phosphine)organoplatinum(II) compounds and their discrete SCCs.The platinum(II) based organometallic precursors typically display spectral red-shifts and have low fluorescence quantum yields and short fluorescence lifetimes compared to their organic counterparts because the introduction of metal centers enhances both intersystem crossing (ISC) and intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) processes, which can compete with the fluorescence emissions. Likewise ligands with conjugation can also increase the ICT process; hence the corresponding organoplatinum(II) compounds undergo a further decrease in fluorescence lifetimes.The use of endohedral amine functionalized 120°-bispyridyl ligands can dramatically enhance the emission properties of the resultant organoplatinum(II) based SCCs. As such these SCCs display emissions in the visible region (ca. 400–500 nm) and are significantly red-shifted (ca. 80–100 nm) compared to the ligands. This key feature makes them suitable as supramolecular theranostic agents wherein these unique emission properties provide diagnostic spectroscopic handles and the organoplatinum(II) centers act as potential anticancer agents. Using steady state and time-resolved-spectroscopic techniques and quantum computations in concert, we have determined that the emissive properties stem from the ligand-centered transitions involving π-type molecular orbitals with modest contributions from the metal-based orbitals.The self-assembly and the photophysics of organoplatinum(II) ← 3-substituted pyridyl based SCCs are highly diverse. Subtle changes in the ligands’ structures can form molecular congener systems with distinct conformational and photophysical properties. Furthermore, the heterometallic SCCs described herein possess rich photophysical properties and can be used for sensing based applications.Tetraphenylethylene (TPE) based SCCs display emissions in the aggregated state as well as in dilute solutions. This is a unique phenomenon that bridges the aggregation caused quenching (ACQ) and aggregation induced emission (AIE) effects. Moreover, a TPE based metallacage exhibits solvatoluminescence, including white light emission in THF solvent, and can act as a fluorescence-sensor for structurally similar ester compounds.