Geometric isomerization of light-activated olefins plays a significant role in biological events as well as in modern materials science applications. In these systems, the isomerization occurs in highly confined spaces, and concepts derived from solution investigations are only partially applicable. This study makes contributions in understanding the excited-state behavior of olefins in confined spaces by investigating the excited-state behavior of 1,4-diphneyl-13-butadiene (DPB) and 1,4-ditolyl-1,3-butadiene (DTB) encapsulated in a well-defined organic capsule made up of the octa acid (OA) host. Both of these dienes that exist in three isomeric forms (trans,trans; trans,cis; and cis,cis) formed 1:2 guest-host complexes with OA in aqueous borate buffer. Competition experiments monitored by 1H NMR signals revealed that among the three isomers the cis,cis isomer of DPB and DTB formed the most stable complex with OA. Molecular modeling studies suggested that all six isomers of DPB and DTB preferred the cisoid conformation within the OA capsule. Irradiation (>280 nm) of the diene-OA complex (diene@OA2) resulted in geometric isomerization, and the photostationary state consisted of cis,trans isomer as major and cis,cis as minor products. The photostationary state could be enriched with the cis,cis isomer in yields close to 70% with proper cutoff filters because the cis,cis isomer absorbs at shorter wavelength than the other two isomers. Consistent with the MD simulation prediction that trans,trans-DPB and trans,trans-DTB existed in cisoid conformation within OA capsule, the generation of singlet oxygen in the presence of OA encapsulated DPB or DTB resulted in facile [4 + 2] addition between the diene and the singlet oxygen.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry