Article

Thiocyanate Linkage Isomerism in a Ruthenium Polypyridyl Complex

Department of Chemistry, Yale University, P.O. Box 208107, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8107, USA.
Inorganic Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.79). 11/2011; 50(23):11938-46. DOI: 10.1021/ic200950e
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Ruthenium polypyridyl complexes have seen extensive use in solar energy applications. One of the most efficient dye-sensitized solar cells produced to date employs the dye-sensitizer N719, a ruthenium polypyridyl thiocyanate complex. Thiocyanate complexes are typically present as an inseparable mixture of N-bound and S-bound linkage isomers. Here we report the synthesis of a new complex, [Ru(terpy)(tbbpy)SCN][SbF(6)] (terpy = 2,2';6',2''-terpyridine, tbbpy = 4,4'-di-tert-butyl-2,2'-bipyridine), as a mixture of N-bound and S-bound thiocyanate linkage isomers that can be separated based on their relative solubility in ethanol. Both isomers have been characterized spectroscopically and by X-ray crystallography. At elevated temperatures the isomers equilibrate, the product being significantly enriched in the more thermodynamically stable N-bound form. Density functional theory analysis supports our experimental observation that the N-bound isomer is thermodynamically preferred, and provides insight into the isomerization mechanism.

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