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Conjugated, rigidified bibenzimidazole ancillary ligands for enhanced photoluminescence quantum yields of orange/red-emitting iridium(III) complexes

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Adam F. Henwood, Daniel Antón-García, Mégane Morin, Diego Rota Martir, David B. Cordes, Colin Casey, Alexandra M. Z. Slawin, Tomas Lebl, Michael Buehl, Eli Zysman-Colman

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A series of six novel [Ir(C^N)2(N^N)](PF6) complexes (C^N is one of two cyclometalating ligands: 2-phenyl-4-(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)pyridine, MesppyH, or 2- (napthalen-1-yl)-4-(2,4,6-trimethylphenyl)pyridine, MesnpyH; N^N denotes one of four neutral diamine ligands: 4,4’-di-tert-butyl-2,2’-bipyridine, dtbubpy, 1H,1’H-2,2’- bibenzimiazole, H2bibenz, 1,1’-(α,α’-o-xylylene)-2,2’-bibenzimidazole, o-Xylbibenz or 2,2’- biquinoline, biq) were synthesised and their structural, electrochemical and photophysical properties comprehensively characterised. The more conjugated MesnpyH ligands confer a red-shift in the emission compared to MesppyH but maintain high photoluminescence quantum yields due to the steric bulk of the mesityl groups. The H2bibenz and o-Xylbibenz ligands are shown to be electronically indistinct to dtbubpy but give complexes with higher quantum yields than analogous complexes bearing dtbubpy. In particular, the rigidity of the o-Xylbibenz ligand, combined with the steric bulk of the MesnpyH C^N ligands, give a red-emitting complex 4PL = 586, 623 nm) with a very high photoluminescence quantum yield (ΦPL = 44%) for an emitter in that regime of the visible spectrum. These results suggest that employing these ligands is a viable strategy for designing more efficient orange-red emitters for use in a variety of photophysical applications.


Original languageEnglish
JournalDalton Transactions
Issue number26
Early online date6 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2019

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