Peripherally Fused Porphyrins via the Scholl Reaction: Synthesis, Self-assembly, and Mesomorphism

Myśliwiec, D.; Donnio, B.; Chmielewski, P. J.; Heinrich, B.; Stępień, M.
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012, 134, 4822-4833 | view at publisher's site

Oxidative coupling of activated aryl groups attached to β-positions of the porphyrin ring provides convenient access to derivatives containing peripherally fused phenanthrene and benzo[g]chrysene units. Tetra(benzochryseno)porphyrin, reported here for the first time, contains a nonplanar, sterically locked π system, and shows very intense electronic absorptions in the Q range of the electronic spectrum. Tetraphenanthroporphyrins show a tendency to aggregate in solution. In one case, a discrete dimer is formed, whose structure was investigated spectroscopically and theoretically. Derivatives bearing long alkyl chains are mesomorphic: and exhibit columnar phases (tetraphenanthroporphyrins) and a monoclinic 3D phase (tetrabenzochrysenoporphyrin). The symmetry of column packing in the columnar phases is dependent on the number of alkyl chains per molecule. X-ray diffraction measurements show that, in spite of their nonplanarity, the aromatic cores in the mesophases are tightly stacked within the column. The corresponding stacking patterns were derived from the structure of the dimer, on the basis of geometrical analysis and molecular modeling.