Photophysical and electrochemical properties of [Re(CO)3Cl(NN)] (NN = dppp3, dppp2, dppp2Br) complexes functionalised with pendant pyridyl ligands

Peter A. Summers, Bethany S. Adams, Nasiru Ibrahim, Katherine E.A. Reynolds, Kam Loon Fow, E. Stephen Davies, Michael Towrie, Michael W. George

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review


We report the synthesis, electrochemical, and photophysical properties of a series of rhenium complexes, [Re(CO)3Cl(NN)] (NN = dppp2, dppp3, and dppp2Br; dppp2 = pyrido[2′,3′:5,6]pyrazino[2,3-f][1,10]phenanthroline, dppp3 = pyrido[3′,4′:5,6]pyrazino[2,3-f][1,10]phenanthroline, dppp2Br = 8-bromopyrido[2′,3′:5,6]pyrazino[2,3-f][1,10]phenanthroline), which have potential for use as CO2 photoreduction catalysts. The complexes are related to [Re(CO)3Cl(dppz)] (dppz = dipyrido[3,2-a:2′,3′-c]phenazine) but have an additional nitrogen heteroatom in the distal phenazine (phz) aromatic ring of the dppz ligand which is known to promote potential photoinduced CO2 binding and reduction in related complexes. We use Fourier transform infrared (FTIR), UV/Visible, electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) and time-resolved infrared (TRIR) spectroscopies to investigate how the location of the additional nitrogen atom, and how the nature of the substituents affects the photophysical properties. In addition, the one electron reduced catalysts are generated following bulk electrochemical reduction and characterised in CH2Cl2. TRIR experiments in d6-DMSO, CH3CN, CH2Cl2, THF and toluene reveal that excitation generates a 3MLCT(phz) (phz = phenazine) excited state in all compounds. In CH3CN and d6-DMSO (not for [Re(CO)3Cl(dppp2)]), we observe the concomitant formation of an 3IL ππ* (IL = intra ligand) excited state. For [Re(CO)3Cl(dppp2)] and [Re(CO)3Cl(dppp3)] in toluene, a mixture of 3MLCT(phen) (phen = phenanthroline) and 3MLCT(phz) states appear to form together, and decay at the same rate. Inclusion of an nitrogen atom in the phz moiety of the dppz ligand lowers the ‘phz’ localised lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) energy potentially favouring population of the 3MLCT(phz) state. This effect is more pronounced for [Re(CO)3Cl(dppp3)] with a more positive reduction potential (E½ = −1.16 vs Fc+/Fc in CH2Cl2) compared to [Re(CO)3Cl(dppp2)] (E½ = −1.20 V vs Fc+/Fc in CH2Cl2). For [Re(CO)3Cl(dppp2Br)], lowering of the LUMO energy results in an even more positive potential (E½ = −1.10 vs Fc+/Fc in CH2Cl2) and this can be seen to affect the photophysics. We find the excited state lifetime for each complex increases with decreasing dielectric constant, where their lifetime in toluene is greater than 100 times longer than that observed in d6-DMSO.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)86-92
Number of pages7
JournalVibrational Spectroscopy
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019


  • COreduction
  • Electrochemistry
  • IR spectroscopy
  • Photophysics
  • Time-resolved IR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Spectroscopy


Dive into the research topics of 'Photophysical and electrochemical properties of [Re(CO)3Cl(NN)] (NN = dppp3, dppp2, dppp2Br) complexes functionalised with pendant pyridyl ligands'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this