Synthesis of Redox-Active, Intramolecular Charge-Transfer Chromophores by the [2+2] Cycloaddition of Ethynylated 2H-Cyclohepta[b]furan-2-ones with Tetracyanoethylene



Ethynylated 2H-cyclohepta[b]furan-2-ones 515 have been prepared by Pd-catalyzed alkynylation of 3-iodo-5-isopropyl-2H-cyclohepta[b]furan-2-one (2) with the corresponding ethynylarenes or the reaction of 2-iodothiophene with 3-ethynyl-5-isopropyl-2H-cyclohepta[b]furan-2-one (4) under Sonogashira–Hagihara conditions. Compounds 515 reacted with tetracyanoethylene in a formal [2+2] cycloaddition reaction, followed by ring opening of the initially formed [2+2] cycloadducts, cyclobutenes, to afford the corresponding 1,1,4,4-tetracyanobutadienyl (TCBD) chromophores 1626 in excellent yields. The intramolecular charge-transfer interactions between the 2H-cyclohepta[b]furan-2-one ring and TCBD acceptor moiety were investigated by UV/Vis spectroscopy and theoretical calculations. The redox behavior of the novel TCBD derivatives 1626 was examined by cyclic voltammetry and differential pulse voltammetry, which revealed multistep electrochemical reduction properties, depending on the number of TCBD units in the molecule. Moreover, a significant color change was observed by UV/Vis spectroscopy under electrochemical reduction conditions.