Intramolecular electron transfer in cofacially π-stacked fluorenes: Evidence of tunneling

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The one-electron reduction of neutral π-stacked di- and trifluorenes (F-2 and F-3) in HMPA, where ion association is absent, results in the formation of anion radicals in which the odd electron resides predominantly on just one of the external fluorene moieties, as established by EPR spectroscopy. However, in the case of tetrafluorene, introduction of a single electron leads to a kinetically controlled anion radical F-4(int)•- in which the odd electron undergoes rapid exchange between two central fluorene rings, where the anionic charge is partially shielded from solvation due to the presence of external fluorene rings. On a time scale of minutes, anion radical F-4(int)•- converts to a thermodynamically stabilized anion radical F-4(ext)•-, with the electron exhibiting coupling from the protons on an external fluorene moiety. The charge and spin residing on an external moiety allow efficient solvation of the anionic charge. A similar fast exchange of a single electron (probably with the involvement of quantum mechanical tunneling) among three and four internal fluorene moieties is initially observed via EPR spectroscopy in the penta- and hexafluorene derivatives, F-5 and F-6, respectively. © 2006 American Chemical Society.

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