The promiscuous encapsulation of π-electron-rich guests by the π-electron-deficient host, cyclobis(paraquat-p-phenylene) (CBPQT4+), involves the formation of 1:1 inclusion complexes. One of the most intensely investigated charge-transfer (CT) bands, assumed to result from inclusion of a guest molecule inside the cavity of CBPQT4+, is an emerald-green band associated with the complexation of tetrathiafulvalene (TTF) and its derivatives. This interpretation was called into question recently in this journal based on theoretical gas-phase calculations that reinterpreted this CT band in terms of an intermolecular side-on interaction of TTF with one of the bipyridinium (BIPY2+) units of CBPQT4+, rather than the encapsulation of TTF inside the cavity of CBPQT4+. We carried out DFT calculations, including solvation, that reveal conclusively that the CT band emerging upon mixing TTF with CBPQT4+ arises from the formation of a 1:1 inclusion complex. In support of this conclusion, we have performed additional experiments on a rotaxane in which a TTF unit, located in the middle of its short dumbbell, is prevented sterically from interacting with either one of the two BIPY2+ units of a CBPQT4+ ring residing on a separate rotaxane in a side-on fashion. This rotaxane has similar UV/Vis and 1H NMR spectroscopic properties with those of 1:1 inclusion complexes of TTF and its derivatives with CBPQT4+. The rotaxane exists as an equimolar mixture of cis- and trans-isomers associated with the disubstituted TTF unit in its dumbbell component. Solid-state structures were obtained for both isomers, validating the conclusion that the TTF unit, which gives rise to the CT band, resides inside CBPQT4+.
- DFT calculations
- donor-acceptor systems