Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol.141, No.25, 9885-9894, 2019
Sulfur-Based Intramolecular Hydrogen-Bond: Excited-State Hydrogen-Bond On/Off Switch with Dual Room-Temperature Phosphorescence
We report O-H-S hydrogen-bond (H-bond) formation and its excited-state intramolecular H-bond on/off reaction unveiled by room-temperature phosphorescence (RTP). In this seminal work, this phenomenon is demonstrated with 7-hydroxy-2,2-dimethy1-2,3-dihydro-1H-indene-1-thione (DM-7HIT), which possesses a strong polar (hydroxy)-dispersive (thione) type H-bond. Upon excitation, DM-7HIT exhibits anomalous dual RTP with maxima at 550 and 685 nm. This study found that the lowest lying excited state (S-1) of DM-7HIT is a sulfur nonbonding (n) to pi* transition, which undergoes O-H bond flipping from S-1 (n pi*) to the non-H-bonded S'(1)(n pi*) state, followed by intersystem crossing and internal conversion to populate the S-1(n pi*) state. Fast H-bond on/off switching then takes place between T'(1)(n pi*) and T-1 (n pi*), forming a pre-equilibrium that affords both the T'(1)(n pi*, 685 nm) and T-1(n pi*, 550 nm) RTP. The generality of the sulfur H-bond on/off switching mechanism, dubbed a molecule wiper, was rigorously evaluated with a variety of other H-bonded thiones, and these results open a new chapter in the chemistry of hydrogen bonds.