In this paper the impact of peripheral substitution with a strongly withdrawing fused ring group on the optical spectroscopy of a metal phthalocyanine complex is analyzed. We report the synthesis of [9 (or 10), 16 (or 17), 23 (or 24)-tri-tert-butylimidophthalocyaninato]zinc(II) (ZnttbIPc), which should eventually prove to be a useful precursor for forming dimeric compounds. The electronic structure is analyzed through a detailed analysis of the UV-visible absorption and magnetic circular dichroism spectra and time-dependent density functional theory calculations. Other than a marked splitting of the Q band, the spectrum is broadly similar to that of ZnPc in terms of the main π → π* electronic bands. The vibrational bands differ markedly in the Q band region when an imido group is added to ligand periphery, relative to what is observed in the case of zinc mononaphthotribenzotetraazaporphyrin (Zn3B1N) with an additional fused benzene ring. The absorption and emission spectra lack mirror symmetry as is the case with ZnPc and thus provide possible evidence for a second set of electronic origins in the Q band region arising from n → π* rather then π → π* transitions.
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