Porphyrin assemblies through the air/water interface: effect of hydrogen bond, thermal annealing, and amplification of supramolecular chirality.
ABSTRACT Molecular assemblies of two achiral porphyrins with different substituents, 5-(4-methoxycarbonylphenyl)-10,15,20-triphenyl-21H,23H-porphine (TPPCOOMe) and 5-(4-carboxyphenyl)-10,15,20-triphenyl-21H,23H-porphine (TPPCOOH), have been fabricated by the Langmuir-Blodgett (LB) technique. It is disclosed that although only slight differences exist in the molecular skeleton of these two compounds, their interfacial assemblies display distinct chiroptical properties. It is found that weak circular dichroism (CD) signals are observed from the TPPCOOH assemblies, while in the case of the TPPCOOMe assemblies, only negligible CD signals could be detected. Interestingly, after the assemblies are subjected to a thermal annealing treatment, TPPCOOH assemblies show a distinct amplification of CD signals, while those of TPPCOOMe do not. An explanation in terms of the effect of substituents on the spreading properties of the compounds and the effect of intermolecular hydrogen bonds on the cooperative stacking of the building blocks is proposed to explain these new findings. The investigation suggests that in the present porphyrin systems, besides a nice spreading property, the cooperative interaction of various noncovalent interactions, including hydrogen bonding, π-π stacking, and hydrophobic interactions, is essentially required for the occurrence of symmetry breaking at the air/water interface.