Electronic interactions in tertiary oligophenylureas

Frederick D. Lewis*, Todd L. Kurth, Grace B. Delos Santos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The syntheses, structures, and spectroscopy of a series of oligomeric tertiary oligophenylureas possessing one to five phenyl rings are reported. A convergent synthetic method employing tertiary monoamine and diamine building blocks is employed. NMR and molecular modeling are indicative of folded structures for all of the oligophenylureas in which adjacent phenyl rings have a splayed face-to-face geometry. NMR chemical shifts, absorption and emission maxima, and electrochemical oxidation potentials are all dependent upon the number of phenyl rings. The addition of a first inner phenyl has a pronounced effect on the chemical shifts, while a second and third inner phenyl have diminished effects. The oxidation potentials of the oligophenylureas display an abrupt decrease upon the addition of the second inner phenyl. The absorption and emission spectra are relatively insensitive to the addition of one to three inner phenyl rings. The electronic structures of the oligophenylureas possessing one to eight rings have been analyzed using ZINDO calculations. The frontier orbitals of the ureas with one to three phenyl rings are localized on a single phenyl ring (the inner ring for the three-ring urea), whereas the frontier orbitals of the higher oligomers are delocalized over two phenyl rings. In all cases, urea-localized n,π* transitions are lower in energy than the phenyl-localized n,π* transitions. The changes in properties with added phenyl rings parallel those previously observed for multilayered cyclophanes; however, they are less pronounced because of weaker coupling between the phenyl rings of the oligophenylureas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4893-4899
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number11
StatePublished - Mar 24 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Materials Chemistry

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