Influence of electronic and structural effects on the oxidative behavior of nickel porphyrins

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With the aim of better understanding the electronic and structural factors which govern electron-transfer processes in porphyrins, the electrochemistry of 29 nickel(II) porphyrins has been examined in dichloromethane containing either 0.1 M tetra-n-butylammonium perchlorate (TBAP) or tetra-n-butylammonium hexafluorophosphate (TBAPF6) as supporting electrolyte. Half-wave potentials for the first oxidation and first reduction are only weakly dependent on the supporting electrolyte, but E1/2 for the second oxidation varies considerably with the type of supporting electrolyte. E1/2 values for the first reduction to give a porphyrin π-anion radical are effected in large part by the electronic properties of the porphyrin macrocycle substituents, while half-wave potentials for the first oxidation to give a π-cation radical are affected by the substituents as well as by nonplanar deformations of the porphyrin macrocycle. The potential difference between the first and second oxidations (Δ|Ox2 - Ox1|) is highly variable among the 29 investigated compounds and ranges from 0 mV (two overlapped oxidations) to 460 mV depending on the macrocycle substituents and the anion of the supporting electrolyte. The magnitude of Δ|Ox2 - Ox1| is generally smaller for compounds with very electron-withdrawing substituents and when TBAP is used as the supporting electrolyte. This behavior is best explained in terms of differences in the binding strengths of anions from the supporting electrolyte (ClO4- or PF6-) to the doubly oxidized species. A closer analysis suggests two factors which are important in modulating Δ|Ox2 - Ox1| and thus the binding affinity of the anion to the porphyrin dication. One is the type of π-cation radical (a proxy for the charge distribution in the dication), and the other is the conformation of the porphyrin macrocycle (either planar or nonplanar). These findings imply that the redox behavior of porphyrins can be selectively tuned to display separate or overlapped oxidation processes.

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Inorganic Chemistry

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