The synthesis of organometallic complexes of modified 26π-conjugated hexaphyrins with absorption and emission capabilities in the third near-infrared region (NIR-III) is described. Symmetry alteration of the frontier molecular orbitals (MOs) of bis-PdII and bis-PtII complexes of hexaphyrin via N-confusion modification led to substantial metal dπ–pπ interactions. This MO mixing, in turn, resulted in a significantly narrower HOMO–LUMO energy gap. A remarkable long-wavelength shift of the lowest S0→S1 absorption beyond 1700 nm was achieved with the bis-PtII complex, t-Pt2-3. The emergence of photoacoustic (PA) signals maximized at 1700 nm makes t-Pt2-3 potentially useful as a NIR-III PA contrast agent. The rigid bis-PdII complexes, t-Pd2-3 and c-Pd2-3, are rare examples of NIR emitters beyond 1500 nm. The current study provides new insight into the design of stable, expanded porphyrinic dyes possessing NIR-III-emissive and photoacoustic-response capabilities.
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