• halogens;
  • porphyrins;
  • self-assembly;
  • supramolecular chemistry;
  • tin


This study targets the construction of porphyrin assemblies directed by halogen bonds, by utilizing a series of purposely synthesized Sn(axial ligand)2–(5,10,15,20-tetraarylporphyrin) [Sn(L)2-TArP] complexes as building units. The porphyrin moiety and the axial ligands in these compounds contain different combinations of complimentary molecular recognition functions. The former bears p-iodophenyl, p-bromophenyl, 4′-pyridyl, or 3′-pyridyl substituents at the meso positions of the porphyrin ring. The latter comprises either a carboxylate or hydroxy anchor for attachment to the porphyrin-inserted tin ion and a pyridyl-, benzotriazole-, or halophenyl-type aromatic residue as the potential binding site. The various complexes were structurally analyzed by single-crystal X-ray diffraction, accompanied by computational modeling evaluations. Halogen-bonding interactions between the lateral aryl substituents of one unit of the porphyrin complex and the axial ligands of neighboring moieties was successfully expressed in several of the resulting samples. Their occurrence is affected by structural (for example, specific geometry of the six-coordinate complexes) and electronic effects (for example, charge densities and electrostatic potentials). The shortest intermolecular I⋅⋅⋅N halogen-bonding distance of 2.991 Å was observed between iodophenyl (porphyrin) and benzotriazole (axial ligand) moieties. Manifestation of halogen bonds in these relatively bulky compounds without further activation of the halophenyl donor groups by electron-withdrawing substituents is particularly remarkable.