ABSTRACT: A series of three geometrically constrained C(2)-symmetric Cu(I) mono-phenanthroline complexes were characterized by X-ray structural analysis, and their photophysical properties were investigated by absorption and emission spectroscopy. Visible light excitation yielded metal-to-ligand charge-transfer (MLCT) excited states with luminescence lifetimes up to 155 ns. Ultrafast transient absorption spectroscopy provided further insights into the excited-state dynamics and suggests for all three complexes the formation of a phenanthroline radical anion. In agreement with electrochemical measurements, the data further indicate that coordinative rearrangements are involved in nonradiative deactivation of the excited states. According to time-dependent density functional theory calculations (B3LYP/6-31G), the major MLCT transitions are polarized along the C(2) axis of the complex and originate predominantly from the copper d(xz) orbital. The computational analysis identifies an excited-state manifold with a number of close-lying, potentially emissive triplet states and is in agreement with the multiexponential decay kinetics of the MLCT luminescence. The relationship between structural and photophysical data of the studied Cu(I) mono-phenanthroline complexes agrees well with current models describing the photophysics of the related Cu(I) bis-diimine complexes.
Inorganic Chemistry 09/2003; 42(16):4918-29. · 4.60 Impact Factor