Oxidative electrochemical switching in dithienylcyclopentenes, part 1: Effect of electronic perturbation on the efficiency and direction of molecular switching

WR Browne, JJD de Jong, T Kudernac, M Walko, K Uchida, JH van Esch, BL Feringa*, Linda N. Lucas

*Corresponding author for this work

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The electro- and spectroclectrochemical properties of dithienylhexahydro- and dithienyhexafluorocyclopentenes are reported. The large effect of variation in the central cyclopentene moieties on the redox properties of the dithienylcyclopentenes is in striking contrast to the minor effect on their photochemical properties. The electronic properties of the oxidised compounds in the +1 and +2 oxidation state are reported, and the possibility of electrochemical cyclisation and cycloreversion were explored by UV/Vis spectroelectrochernistry. The efficiency of electrochemical switching is found to be dependent both on the central cyclopentene unit and on the nature of the substituents at C5 of the thienyl rings. For the hexahydrocyclopentene-based compounds oxidative ring closure of the ring-open form is observed, while for the hexafluorocyclopentene-based compounds oxidative ring opening of the ring-closed form is observed. However, the introduction of electroactive groups such as methoxyphenyl allows oxidative ring closure to occur in the hexafluoro compounds. The effect of electrolyte, solvent and temperature on the spectroelectrochemical properties were examined, and the switching process was found to be sensitive to the donor properties of the solvent/electrolyte system employed. In addition, thermally activated reversible isomerisation of the dicationic closed form was observed. The driving force for electrochemical ring opening and closure appears to be dependent on the relative stabilisation of the dicationic ring-open and ring-closed states. This study provides insight into the factors which determine the direction of cyclisation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6414-6429
Number of pages16
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - 21-Oct-2005


  • cyclization
  • electrochemistry
  • photochromism
  • redox chemistry
  • UV/Vis spectroscopy
  • ION

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