Porphyrins are stable molecules with a macrocyclic conjugated system and often peripheral substituents. This unique structure makes the electronic properties of the four meso-carbons (the methine bridges) nearly identical. Replacement of the weakly electron-polarizing 2,4-vinyl groups of protoporphyrin IX with strongly electron-polarizing acetyl groups not only leads to much lower meso-carbon reactivities toward electrophilic aromatic substitution but also results in a significant meso-selectivity (the β- and γ-meso- positions become much more nucleophilic (basic) than the α- and δ-meso-positions). To further investigate the relationship between the porphyrin meso-carbon reactivities and the peripheral substituents, two monoacetylporphyrin analogues also were synthesized. This investigation not only leads to empirical rules for predicting porphyrin meso-carbon selectivities but also provides important models for theoretical calculations of porphyrin aromaticity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Organic Chemistry