Chemical communications (Cambridge, England)

Boron complexes of porphyrins and related polypyrrole ligands: unexpected chemistry for both boron and the porphyrin.

PMID 18438481


The coordination of boron to a range of polypyrrole-containing ligands is explored in this feature article. The boron dipyrromethenes are well-known as laser dyes and fluorescent labels in biology. Subphthalocyanine and subporphyrin macrocycles containing only three pyrrole rings can exist only when templated by a central boron atom. Boron complexes of expanded porphyrins (six or eight pyrroles) can complex boron in dipyrromethene (but not bipyrrole) sites. The primary focus of the article is on boron porphyrin and corrole complexes, where the tight fit of two boron atoms within the very constrained coordination site gives rise to unexpected chemistry at both boron and the porphyrin ligand. These unusual features are described and reasons for their occurrence postulated.