Luminescent Rhodium Metal Complexes
Elise G. Megehee, Department of Chemistry, St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Stephanie Ovalles, Chris Emmel, and Daniel Amarante, St. John’s College student
Rhodium metal complexes are of interest as they exhibit visible luminescence upon excitation with visible or ultraviolet light. These compounds are of interest as possible photochemical or electrochemical reaction catalysts, as models of photosynthetic reaction center, as energy and electron transfer agents, as emissive DNA labels, and as probes of DNA and protein structure. One important application for the rhodium complexes is their use in photochemical cleavage of DNA strands. While some of the rhodium complexes are known, their published syntheses are difficult and require extensive purification. We have developed new, general synthetic methods that allow easy preparation of pure complexes in high yields. We have demonstrated that bis-(2,2'-bipyridine)bis-(triflate)rhodium(III) compounds are versatile precursors to a wide variety of complexes in high yields. Over the past year we have synthesized and purified twelve new compounds. We have characterized each of these compounds by 1H NMR, 13C NMR, and elemental analysis and are currently studying their electronic properties.