Helimeric porphyrinoids: stereostructure and chiral resolution of meso-tetraarylmorpholinochlorins

J Am Chem Soc. 2011 Jun 8;133(22):8740-52. doi: 10.1021/ja202451t. Epub 2011 May 13.


The synthesis and chiral resolution of free-base and Ni(II) complexes of a number of derivatives of meso-tetraphenylmorpholinochlorins, with and without direct β-carbon-to-o-phenyl linkages to the flanking phenyl groups, is described. The morpholinochlorins, a class of stable chlorin analogues, were synthesized in two to three steps from meso-tetraphenylporphyrin. The conformations and the relative stereostructures of a variety of free-base and Ni(II) complexes of these morpholinochlorins were elucidated by X-ray diffractometry. Steric and stereoelectronic arguments explain the relative stereoarray of the morpholino-substituents, which differ in the free-base and Ni(II) complexes, and in the monoalkoxy, β-carbon-to-o-phenyl linked morpholinochlorins, and the dialkoxy derivatives. The Ni(II) complexes were all found to be severely ruffled whereas the free-base chromophores are more planar. As a result of the helimeric distortion of their porphyrinoid chromophores, the ruffled macrocycles possess a stable inherent element of chirality. Most significantly, resolution of the racemic mixtures was achieved, both by classical methods via diastereomers and by HPLC on a chiral phase. Full CD spectra were recorded and modeled using quantum-chemical computational methods, permitting, for the first time, an assignment of the absolute configurations of the chromophores. The report expands the range of known pyrrole-modified porphyrins. Beyond this, it introduces large chiral porphyrinoid π-systems that exist in the form of two enantiomeric, stereochemically stable helimers that can be resolved. This forms the basis for possible future applications, for example, in molecular-recognition systems or in materials with chiroptic properties.