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Emission Tuning Of Luminescent Copper(I) Complexes By Vapor-Induced Ligand Exchange Reactions.

Tatsuya Hasegawa, Atsushi Kobayashi, Hiroki Ohara, Masaki Yoshida, Masako Kato
Published 2017 · Chemistry, Medicine
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We have synthesized two luminescent mononuclear Cu(I) complexes, [Cu(PPh2Tol)(THF)(4Mepy)2](BF4) (1) and [Cu(PPh2Tol)(4Mepy)3](BF4) (2) (PPh2Tol = diphenyl(o-tolyl)phosphine, 4Mepy = 4-methylpyridine, THF = tetrahydrofuran), and investigated their crystal structures, luminescence properties, and vapor-induced ligand exchange reactions in the solid state. Both coordination complexes are tetrahedral, but one of the three 4Mepy ligands of complex 2 is replaced by a THF solvent molecule in complex 1. In contrast to the very weak blue emission of the THF-bound complex 1 (wavelength of emission maximum (λem) = 457 nm, emission quantum yield (Φem) = 0.02) in the solid state at room temperature, a very bright blue-green emission was observed for 2 (λem = 484 nm, Φem = 0.63), suggesting a contribution of the THF ligand to nonradiative deactivation. Time-dependent density functional theory calculations and emission lifetime measurements suggest that the room-temperature emissions of the complexes are due to thermally activated delayed fluorescence from the metal-to-ligand charge transfer excited state. Interestingly, by exposing the solid sample of THF-bound 1 to 4Mepy vapor, the emission intensity drastically increased and the emission color changed from blue to blue-green. Powder X-ray diffraction measurements revealed that the emission change of 1 is due to the vapor-induced ligand exchange of THF for 4Mepy, forming the strongly emissive complex 2. Further emission tuning was achieved by exposing 1 to pyrimidine or pyrazine vapors, forming green (λem = 510 nm) or orange (λem = 618 nm) emissive complexes, respectively. These results suggest that the vapor-induced ligand exchange is a promising method to control the emission color of luminescent Cu(I) complexes.
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