Indexed on: 30 Jan '07Published on: 30 Jan '07Published in: Inorganic Chemistry
A series of quasilinear dinuclear complexes incorporating ruthenium(II)- and osmium(II)-tris(2,2'-bipyridine) units has been prepared in which the individual metal-containing moieties are separated by 3,4-dibutyl-2,5-diethenylthiophene spacers and end-capped by 3,4-dibutyl-2-ethenylthiophene subunits; related ruthenium(II) and osmium(II) mononuclear complexes have also been prepared where one bpy unit is likewise end-capped by 3,4-dibutyl-2-ethenylthiophene subunits [bpy = 2,2'-bipyridine]. Overall, mononuclear species, labeled here Ru and Os, and dinuclear species, RuRu, OsOs, and RuOs, have been prepared and investigated. Their electrochemical behavior has been studied in CH3CN solvent and reveals ethenylthiophene-centered oxidations (irreversible steps at > +1.37 V vs SCE), metal-centered oxidations (reversible steps at +1.30 V vs SCE for Ru(II/III) and +0.82 V vs SCE for Os(II/III)), and successive reduction steps localized at the substituted bpy subunits. The spectroscopic studies performed for the complexes in CH3CN solvent provided optical absorption spectra associated with transitions of ligand-centered nature (LC, from the bpy and ethenylthiophene subunits) and metal-to-ligand charge-transfer nature (MLCT), with the former dominating in the visible region (400-600 nm). While the constituent ethenylthiophene-bpy ligands are strong fluorophores (fluorescence efficiency in CH2Cl2 solvent, phi em = 0.49 and 0.39, for the monomer and the dimer, respectively), only weak luminescence is observed for each complex in acetonitrile at room temperature. In particular, (i) the complexes Ru and RuRu do not emit appreciably, and (ii) the complexes Os, OsOs, and RuOs exhibit triplet emission of 3Os --> L CT character, with phi em in the range from 10-3 to 10-4. These features are rationalized on the basis of the role of nonemissive triplet energy levels, 3Th, centered on the ethenylthiophene spacer. These levels appear to lie lower in energy than the 3Ru --> L CT triplet levels, and in turn higher in energy than the 3Os --> L CT triplet levels, along the sequence 3Ru --> L CT > 3Th > 3Os --> L CT.