Photophysics and redox properties of rylene imide and diimide dyes alkylated ortho to the imide groups

Joseph E. Bullock, Michael T. Vagnini, Charusheela Ramanan, Dick T. Co, Thea M. Wilson, Jay W. Dicke, Tobin J. Marks, Michael R. Wasielewski

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93 Scopus citations


Ruthenium-catalyzed C-H bond activation was used to directly attach phenethyl groups derived from styrene to positions ortho to the imide groups in a variety of rylene imides and diimides including naphthalene-1,8- dicarboximide (NMI), naphthalene-1,4:5,8-bis(dicarboximide) (NI), perylene-3,4-dicarboximide (PMI), perylene-3,4:9,10-bis(dicarboximide) (PDI), and terrylene-3,4:11,12- bis(dicarboximide) (TDI). The monoimides were dialkylated, while the diimides were tetraalkylated, with the exception of NI, which could only be dialkylated due to steric hindrance. The absorption, fluorescence, transient absorption spectra, and lowest excited singlet state lifetimes of these chromophores, with the exception of NI, are nearly identical to those of their unsubstituted parent chromophores. The reduction potentials of the dialkylated chromophores are ∼100 mV more negative and oxidation potentials are ∼40 mV less positive than those of the parent compounds, while the corresponding potentials of the tetraalkylated compounds are ∼200 mV more negative and ∼100 mV less positive than those of their parent compounds, respectively. Continuous wave electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and electron nuclear double resonance (ENDOR) data on the radical anion of PDI reveals spin density on the perylene-core protons as well as on the β-protons of the phenethyl groups. The phenethyl groups enhance the otherwise poor solubility of the bis(dicarboximide) chromophores and only weakly perturb the photophysical and redox properties of the parent molecules, rendering these derivatives and related molecules of significant interest to solar energy conversion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1794-1802
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 11 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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