The title dicyano compound was synthesized via cyanation and it self-assembles in nonpolar solvents giving red-shifted and broad absorption maxima just as the bacteriochlorophylls which are encountered in the light-harvesting organelles of early photosynthetic bacteria. In the crystal, stacks are formed through a hierarchic combination of -stacking and a CN-Zn electrostatic interaction. Push-pull 15-N,N-dialkylamino-5-cyano congeners could be obtained in high yields using a solvent- and catalyst-free direct amination of meso-bromoporphyrins. Importantly, the fluorescence of the self-assembled species due to the very orderly manner in which the chromophores are arranged is not entirely quenched and has a surprisingly long lifetime of over 1 ns. This lends hope of using the trapped energy in biomimetic hybrid solar cells.
M.C. Balaban, A. Eichhöfer, G. Buth, R. Hauschild, J. Szmytkowski, H. Kalt, T.S. Balaban
J. Phys. Chem. B, 112 (17), 5512 -5521, 2008