Interactions of Metal-Based and Ligand-Based Electronic Spins in Neutral Tripyrrindione π Dimers

Ritika Gautam, Andrei V. Astashkin, Tsuhen M. Chang, Jason Shearer, Elisa Tomat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The ability of tetrapyrrolic macrocycles to stabilize unpaired electrons and engage in π-π interactions is essential for many electron-transfer processes in biology and materials engineering. Herein, we demonstrate that the formation of π dimers is recapitulated in complexes of a linear tripyrrolic analogue of naturally occurring pigments derived from heme decomposition. Hexaethyltripyrrindione (H3TD1) coordinates divalent transition metals (i.e., Pd, Cu, Ni) as a stable dianionic radical and was recently described as a robust redox-active ligand. The resulting planar complexes, which feature a delocalized ligand-based electronic spin, are stable at room temperature in air and support ligand-based one-electron processes. We detail the dimerization of neutral tripyrrindione complexes in solution through electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and visible absorption spectroscopic methods. Variable-temperature measurements using both EPR and absorption techniques allowed determination of the thermodynamic parameters of π dimerization, which resemble those previously reported for porphyrin radical cations. The inferred electronic structure, featuring coupling of ligand-based electronic spins in the π dimers, is supported by density functional theory (DFT) calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6755-6762
Number of pages8
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 5 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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