A Chichibabin’s Hydrocarbon Based Molecular Cage: The Impact of Structural Rigidity on Dynamics, Stability, and Electronic Properties

Yong Ni, Fernando Gordillo-Gamez, Miriam Pena Alvarez, Zhihan Nan, Zhengtao Li, Shaofei Wu, Yi Han, Juan Casado, Jishan Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A 3D π-conjugated polyradicaloid molecular cage c-Ph14, consisting of three Chichibabin’s hydrocarbon motifs connected by two benzene-1,3,5-triyl bridgeheads, was synthesized. Compared with its linear model compound l-Ph4, the prism-like c-Ph14 has a more rigid structure, which shows significant im-pact on the molecular dynamics, stability, and electronic properties. A higher rotation energy barrier for the quinoidal biphenyl units was determined in c-Ph14 (15.64 kcal/mol) than that of l-Ph4 (11.40 kcal/mol) according to variable-temperature NMR measurements, leading to improved stability, a smaller diradical character, and an increased singlet-triplet energy gap. The pressure-dependent Ra-man spectroscopic studies on the rigid cage c-Ph14 revealed a quinoidal-to-aromatic transformation along the biphenyl bridges. In addition, the ellipsoidal cavity in the cage allowed selective encapsula-tion of fullerene C70 over C60, with an associate constant of about 1.43×104 M-1. Moreover, c-Ph14 and l-Ph4 exhibited similar redox behavior and their cationic species (c-Ph146+ and l-Ph42+) were obtained by chemical oxidation and the structures were identified by X-ray crystallographic analysis. The bi-phenyl unit showed a twisted conformation in l-Ph42+, whereas remained coplanarity in c-Ph146+. No-tably, molecules of c-Ph146+ form one-dimensional columnar structure via close π-π stacking between the bridgeheads.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12730-12742
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Volume142
Issue number29
Early online date26 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2020

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