We report herein NH tautomerism of a freebase derivative of a quadruply fused porphyrin (H2QFP-Mes, 3), which has one mesityl group at one of the β-positions of the nonfused pyrroles to lower the structural symmetry, allowing us to observe the NH tautomerism with 1H NMR spectroscopy. Compound 3 was revealed to have the two inner NH protons on the two nonfused pyrroles, and the NH tautomerism of 3 was evidenced by variable-temperature (VT) 1H NMR experiments in various deuterated solvents. The VT-NMR studies revealed that the activation barrier for the NH tautomerism of 3 was larger than that of tetraphenylporphyrin. The positive activation entropy (ΔS‡ = 89 J mol-1 K-1), determined for the NH tautomerism, can be explained by dissociation of the π-π stacked dimer structure of 3 in the ground state, as evidenced by the crystal structure and NMR measurements. On the basis of the kinetic studies and density functional theory calculations, the stability of intermediates in the NH tautomerism of 3 and the transition states have been discussed in detail.
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