Fine Tuning of MLCT States in New Mononuclear Complexes of Ruthenium(II) Containing Tris(1-pyrazolyl)methane, 2,2 -Bipyridine and Aromatic Nitrogen Heterocycles

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The syntheses of new mononuclear ruthenium(II) complexes of the type: [Ru(bpy)(L)(tpm)](PF6)2 {tpm = tris(1-pyrazolyl)methane; bpy = 2,2′-bipyridine; L = pz (pyrazine; 1), 4,4′-bpy (4,4′-bipyridine; 2), and bpe [trans-1,2-bis(4-pyridyl)ethylene; 3]} are described, together with their spectroscopic, electrochemical, and photophysical properties. A complete assignment of the NMR resonances of the three species could be made in CD3CN by bidimensional techniques. A fine tuning of the energies of MLCT (metal-to-ligand charge transfer) states in these complexes is disclosed when comparing, in CH3CN, the values of their maximum absorption wavelengths for the most intense visible bands (λmax) and their redox potentials for the RuIII/RuII couples; this effect, relevant to the design of efficient photocatalysts, can be attributed to a decreasing order of dπ(Ru) → π*(2,2′-bpy) backbonding when decreasing the distance between both N atoms in the aromatic nitrogen heterocycle L that acts in a monodentate manner. Only the species with L = bpe emits at room temperature, pointing to the conclusion that MLCT excited states in this series become higher in energy than dd excited states when the value of λmax is lower than 400 nm. These species are also useful building blocks for new dinuclear mixed-valent complexes ​
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