Tuning Oxyquinolate Non-Innocence at the Ruthenium Polypyridyl Core



The electronic structure of [Ru(bpy)2(OQN)]+ (where bpy = 2,2′-bipyridine and OQN = 8-oxyquinolate) has been revisited using a complimentary suite of theoretical (DFT/TD-DFT), electrochemical (cyclic voltammetry) and spectroscopic techniques (UV/Vis/NIR absorption, EPR spectroscopy). Through functionalization of the R-OQN ligand (R = 2-Me; 5,7-Me2; 5-F; 5-Cl; 5,7-Cl2; 5-NO2) charge delocalization across the non-innocent ruthenium-oxyquinolate framework has been investigated and correlated with substituent Hammett parameters. Combined spectroscopic and computational studies indicate substantial mixing at the HOMO–3, HOMO and LUMO+2 levels between the Ru and R-OQN π-systems allowing controlled tuning of complex redox potentials while maintaining panchromatic absorption characteristics. UV/Vis/NIR and EPR spectroelectrochemical data is reported which shows strong evidence for substituent dependence of hole delocalization onto the R-OQN ligand following one-electron oxidation of the hybrid Ru(R-OQN) based HOMO level. EPR data correlates very well with Mulliken spin-density calculations confirming non-innocence of the R-OQN ligand which allows control of spin-distribution across the Ru(R-OQN) π-system