Structural, electronic, and acid/base properties of [Ru(bpy) 2(bpy(OH)2)]2+ (bpy = 2,2′-bipyridine, bpy(OH)2 = 4,4′-dihydroxy-2,2′-bipyridine)

Samantha Klein, William G. Dougherty, W. Scott Kassel, Timothy J. Dudley, Jared J. Paul

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We have synthesized the complex [Ru(bpy)2(bpy(OH) 2)]2+ (bpy =2,2′-bipyridine, bpy(OH)2 = 4,4′-dihydroxy-2,2′-bipyridine). Experimental results coupled with computational studies were utilized to investigate the structural and electronic properties of the complex, with particular attention paid toward the effects of deprotonation on these properties. The most distinguishing feature observed in the X-ray structural data is a shortening of the CO bond lengths in the modified ligand upon deprotonation. Similar results are also observed in the computational studies as the CO bond becomes double bond in character after deprotonating the complex. Electrochemically, the hydroxy-modified bipyridyl ligand plays a significant role in the redox properties of the complex. When protonated, the bpy(OH)2 ligand undergoes irreversible reduction processes; however, when deprotonated, reduction of the substituted ligand is no longer observed, and several new irreversible oxidation processes associated with the modified ligand arise. pH studies indicate [Ru(bpy)2(bpy(OH) 2)]2+ has two distinct deprotonations at pKa1 = 2.7 and pKa2 = 5.8. The protonated [Ru(bpy)2(bpy(OH) 2)]2+ complex has a characteristic UV/Visible absorption spectrum similar to the well-studied complex [Ru(bpy)3]2+ with bands arising from Metal-to-Ligand Charge Transfer (MLCT) transitions. When the complex is deprotonated, the absorption spectrum is altered significantly and becomes heavily solvent dependent. Computational methods indicate that the deprotonated bpy(O-)2 ligand mixes heavily with the metal d orbitals leading to a new absorption manifold. The transitions in the complex have been assigned as mixed Metal-Ligand to Ligand Charge Transfer (MLLCT).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2754-2763
Number of pages10
JournalInorganic Chemistry
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 4 2011
Externally publishedYes


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