Forcing Twisted 1,7-Dibromoperylene Diimides to Flatten in the Solid State: What a Difference an Atom Makes
Perylene diimides (PDI) are workhorses in the field of organic electronics, owing to their appealing n-semiconducting properties. Optimization of their performances is widely pursued by bay-atom substitution and diverse imide functionalization. Bulk solids and thin-films of these species crystallize in a variety of stacking configurations, depending on the geometry of the stable conformation of the polyaromatic core. We here demonstrate that 1,7-dibromo-substituted perylene diimides, PDI(HBr), possessing a heavily twisted conformation in the gas phase, in solution and in the solids, can be easily flattened in the solid state into centrosymmetric molecules if the polyaromatic cores form ?-? stabilized chains. This is achieved by using axial residues with low stereochemical hindrance, as guaranteed by a single CH/NH spacer directly linked to the imide function. Structural powder diffraction and DFT calculations on four newly designed species of the PDI(HBr) class coherently show that, thanks to the flexibility of the N-X-Ar link (X=CH/NH), flat cores are indeed obtained by overcoming the interconversion barrier between twisted atropoisomers, of only 26.5 kJ mol. This strategy may then be useful to induce “anomalously flat” polyaromatic cores of different kinds (substituted acenes/rylenes) in the solid state, towards suitable crystal packing and orbital interactions for improved electronic performances.
|Angewandte Chemie (Int. ed., Print)|