Comparison of rhenium-porphyrin dyads for CO2 photoreduction: photocatalytic studies and charge separation dynamics studied by time-resolved IR spectroscopy

Christopher D. Windle, Michael W. George*, Robin N. Perutz, Peter A. Summers, Xue Zhong Sun, Adrian C. Whitwood

*Corresponding author for this work

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We report a study of the photocatalytic reduction of CO2 to CO by zinc porphyrins covalently linked to [ReI(2,2′-bipyridine)(CO)3L]+/0 moieties with visible light of wavelength >520 nm. Dyad 1 contains an amide C6H4NHC(O) link from porphyrin to bipyridine (Bpy), Dyad 2 contains an additional methoxybenzamide within the bridge C6H4NHC(O)C6H3(OMe)NHC(O), while Dyad 3 has a saturated bridge C6H4NHC(O)CH2; each dyad is studied with either L = Br or 3-picoline. The syntheses, spectroscopic characterisation and cyclic voltammetry of Dyad 3 Br and [Dyad 3 pic]OTf are described. The photocatalytic performance of [Dyad 3 pic]OTf in DMF/triethanolamine (5 : 1) is approximately an order of magnitude better than [Dyad 1 pic]PF6 or [Dyad 2 pic]OTf in turnover frequency and turnover number, reaching a turnover number of 360. The performance of the dyads with Re-Br units is very similar to that of the dyads with [Re-pic]+ units in spite of the adverse free energy of electron transfer. The dyads undergo reactions during photocatalysis: hydrogenation of the porphyrin to form chlorin and isobacteriochlorin units is detected by visible absorption spectroscopy, while IR spectroscopy reveals replacement of the axial ligand by a triethanolaminato group and insertion of CO2 into the latter to form a carbonate. Time-resolved IR spectra of [Dyad 2 pic]OTf and [Dyad 3 pic]OTf (560 nm excitation in CH2Cl2) demonstrated electron transfer from porphyrin to Re(Bpy) units resulting in a shift of ν(CO) bands to low wavenumbers. The rise time of the charge-separated species for [Dyad 3 pic]OTf is longest at 8 (±1) ps and its lifetime is also the longest at 320 (±15) ps. The TRIR spectra of Dyad 1 Br and Dyad 2 Br are quite different showing a mixture of 3MLCT, IL and charge-separated excited states. In the case of Dyad 3 Br, the charge-separated state is absent altogether. The TRIR spectra emphasize the very different excited states of the bromide complexes and the picoline complexes. Thus, the similarity of the photocatalytic data for bromide and picoline dyads suggests that they share common intermediates. Most likely, these involve hydrogenation of the porphyrin and substitution of the axial ligand at rhenium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6847-6864
Number of pages18
JournalChemical Science
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2015

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