Solvent-dependent aromatic versus antiaromatic conformational switching in meso-(heptakis)pentafluorophenyl [32]heptaphyrin

Min Chul Yoon, Jae Yoon Shin, Jong Min Lim, Shohei Saito, Tomoki Yoneda, Atsuhiro Osuka, Dongho Kim

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44 Citations (Scopus)


We have investigated conformational switching dynamics of meso-heptakis(pentafluorophenyl) [32]heptaphyrin( in various solvents using steady-state, time-resolved, and temperature-dependent spectroscopy. Absorption and fluorescence spectra of [32]heptaphyrin are quite sensitive to solvent environments. In nonpolar toluene, the antiaromatic figure-of-eight conformation is dominant, as seen in the X-ray crystallography, based on broad and weak absorption bands without any fluorescence and moderate paratropic ring current. On the other hand, a well-resolved sharp absorption spectrum, strong fluorescence, and diatropic ring current in the 1H NMR spectrum in slightly polar THF indicate that most of [32]heptaphyrin molecules take significantly distorted Möbius conformation with aromatic character. By using transient absorption (TA) spectroscopy, the lowest singlet excited-state lifetimes have been revealed to decay biexponentially with the time constants of 5 and 65 ps for figure-of-eight and Möbius conformations, respectively. Based on these results along with vertical excitation energy calculations, we are able to assign two conformers as Hückel antiaromatic and Möbius aromatic species, respectively; it shoulf be noted that the aromaticity/antiaromaticity does not change with temperature variation. Interestingly, in moderately polar solvent, ethyl ether, we find out that these two conformational isomers coexist with a dynamic equilibrium, as revealed by excitation-wavelength-dependent TA, temperature-dependent absorption and 1H NMR spectra. Through our findings, we have demonstrated that the conformational switching dynamics between Hückel antiaromatic and Möbius aromatic conformers in [32]heptaphyrin( are strongly affected by solvent medium as well as temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6707-6715
Number of pages9
JournalChemistry - A European Journal
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Jun 6

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Catalysis
  • Organic Chemistry


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