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J Am Chem Soc. 2002 Oct 16;124(41):12380-8.

Quinonoid oligothiophenes as electron-donor and electron-acceptor materials. A spectroelectrochemical and theoretical study.

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Departamento de Química Física, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Málaga, 29071-Málaga, Spain.


Two quinonoid bis(dicyanomethylene) oligothiophenes, terthiophene and quaterthiophene analogues of TCNQ, have been investigated by spectroelectrochemical experiments and density functional theory calculations. Electrochemical data show that the molecules can be both reduced and oxidized at relatively low potentials, and that the quaterthiophene derivative forms four stable redox species, the dianion, neutral, cation radical, and dication. The neutral oligomers are characterized by a strong electronic absorption in the red or near-infrared region and can be viewed as structural and electronic analogues of aromatic oligothiophenes in the dication or bipolaron state. Upon reduction, dianions, not anion radicals, are formed which absorb in the visible region. The theoretical calculations show that the dianions have aromatic oligothiophene moieties with two anionic dicyanomethylene groups. The transition from a quinonoid to an aromatic structure is fully supported by UV-vis-near-IR and vibrational spectroscopic data. Oxidation, generating cation radicals and dications, occurs at rather low potentials similar to those reported for oligothiophenes. The electronic spectra of these cations are understood from the calculations, which suggest that the oxidized species are stabilized by the partial aromatization of the oligothiophene backbone. IR spectra of the species, especially the CN stretching frequencies, confirm the structural conclusions and allow comparison with TCNQ and the TCNQ dianion.

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