DOI: 10.3390/molecules29010070 ISSN: 1420-3049

A Triplet/Singlet Ground-State Switch via the Steric Inhibition of Conjugation in 4,6-Bis(trifluoromethyl)-1,3-phenylene Bisnitroxide

Nagito Haga, Takayuki Ishida
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmaceutical Science

Ground triplet 4,6-bis(trifluoromethyl)-1,3-phenylene bis(tert-butyl nitroxide) (TF2PBN) reacted with [Y(hfac)3(H2O)2] (hfac = 1,1,1,5,5,5-hexafluoropentane-2,4-dionate), affording a doubly hydrogen-bonded adduct [Y(hfac)3(H2O)2(TF2PBN)]. The biradical was recovered from the adduct through recrystallization. Crystallographic analysis indicates that the torsion angles (|θ| ≤ 90°) between the benzene ring and nitroxide groups were 74.9 and 84.8° in the adduct, which are larger than those of the starting material TF2PBN. Steric congestion due to o-trifluoromethyl groups gives rise to the reduction of π-conjugation. Two hydrogen bonds enhance this deformation. Susceptometry of the adduct indicates a ground singlet with 2J/kB = −128(2) K, where 2J corresponds to the singlet–triplet gap. The observed magneto-structure relation is qualitatively consistent with Rajca’s pioneering work. A density functional theory calculation at the UB3LYP/6-311+G(2d,p) level using the atomic coordinates determined provided a result of 2J/kB = −162.3 K for the adduct, whilst the corresponding calculation on intact TF2PBN provided +87.2 K. After a comparison among a few known compounds, the 2J vs. |θ| plot shows a negative slope with a critical torsion of 65(3)°. The ferro- and antiferromagnetic coupling contributions are balanced in TF2PBN, being responsible for ground-state interconversion by means of small structural perturbation like hydrogen bonds.

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