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Conjugated macrocycles related to the porphyrins. 21. Synthesis, spectroscopy, electrochemistry, and structural characterization of carbaporphyrins.

The "3 + 1" variant of the MacDonald condensation has been shown to be an excellent methodology for synthesizing carbaporphyrins. In particular, 1,3-indenedicarbaldehyde condenses with tripyrranes in the presence of TFA to give, following oxidation with DDQ, a series of benzocarbaporphyrins in excellent yields. Triformylcyclopentadienes also afford carbaporphyrin products, albeit in low yields ranging from 5 to 8%. These hybrid bridged annulene structures have porphyrin-like electronic absorption spectra with strong Soret bands near 420 nm and a series of Q-bands through the visible region. The proton NMR spectrum confirms the presence of a strong diamagnetic ring current, and the meso-protons show up at 10 ppm, while the internal CH is shielded to approximately -7 ppm. Carbaporphyrins undergo reversible protonation with TFA. Initial addition of acid affords a monocation, although mixtures of protonated species are observed in the presence of moderate concentrations of TFA. However, in the presence of 50% TFA a C-protonated dication is generated. The dications relocate the pi-delocalization pathway through the benzo moiety of benzocarbaporphyrins, and these therefore represent bridged benzo[18]annulenes, although they nevertheless retain powerful macrocyclic ring currents. Carbaporphyrins with fused acenaphthylene and phenanthrene rings have been prepared, and the former demonstrated significantly larger bathochromic shifts in UV-vis spectroscopy that parallel previous observations for acenaphthoporphyrins. A diphenyl-substituted benzocarbaporphyrin 19b was also characterized by X-ray crystallography, and these data show that the macrocycle is reasonably planar although the indene subunit is tilted out of the mean macrocyclic plane by 15.5 degrees. The structural data indicates that the preferred tautomer in the solid state has the two NH's flanking the pyrrolene unit in agreement with previous spectroscopic and theoretical studies. Cyclic voltammetry for carbaporphyrin 19a was more complex than for true porphyrins, showing five anodic waves and two quasi-reversible reductive couples.[1]


  1. Conjugated macrocycles related to the porphyrins. 21. Synthesis, spectroscopy, electrochemistry, and structural characterization of carbaporphyrins. Lash, T.D., Hayes, M.J., Spence, J.D., Muckey, M.A., Ferrence, G.M., Szczepura, L.F. J. Org. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
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