Two donor-acceptor catenanes-composed of a tetracationic molecular square, cyclobis(paraquat-4,4′-biphenylene), as the π-electron deficient ring and either two tetrathiafulvalene (TTF) and 1,5-dioxynaphthalene (DNP) containing macrocycles or two TTF-butadiyne-containing macrocycles as the π-electron rich components-have been investigated in order to study their ability to form TTF radical dimers. It has been proven that the mechanically interlocked nature of the catenanes facilitates the formation of the TTF radical dimers under redox control, allowing an investigation to be performed on these intermolecular interactions in a so-called "molecular flask" under ambient conditions in considerable detail. In addition, it has also been shown that the stability of the TTF radical-cation dimers can be tuned by varying the secondary binding motifs in the catenanes. By replacing the DNP station with a butadiyne group, the distribution of the TTF radical-cation dimer can be changed from 60% to 100%. These findings have been established by several techniques including cyclic voltammetry, spectroelectrochemistry and UV-vis-NIR and EPR spectroscopies, as well as with X-ray diffraction analysis which has provided a range of solid-state crystal structures. The experimental data are also supported by high-level DFT calculations. The results contribute significantly to our fundamental understanding of the interactions within the TTF radical dimers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry