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Characterisation of different polymorphs of tris(8-hydroxyquinolinato)aluminium(III) using solid-state NMR and DFT calculations

Author(s): Goswami Mithun | Nayak Pabitra | Periasamy N | Madhu PK

Journal: Chemistry Central Journal
ISSN 1752-153X

Volume: 3;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 15;
Date: 2009;
Original page

Abstract Background Organic light emitting devices (OLED) are becoming important and characterisation of them, in terms of structure, charge distribution, and intermolecular interactions, is important. Tris(8-hydroxyquinolinato)-aluminium(III), known as Alq3, an organomettalic complex has become a reference material of great importance in OLED. It is important to elucidate the structural details of Alq3 in its various isomeric and solvated forms. Solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a useful tool for this which can also complement the information obtained with X-ray diffraction studies. Results We report here 27Al one-dimensional (1D) and two-dimensional (2D) multiple-quantum magic-angle spinning (MQMAS) NMR studies of the meridional (α-phase) and the facial (δ-phase) isomeric forms of Alq3. Quadrupolar parameters are estimated from the 1D spectra under MAS and anisotropic slices of the 2D spectra and also calculated using DFT (density functional theory) quantum-chemical calculations. We have also studied solvated phase of Alq3 containing ethanol in its lattice. We show that both the XRD patterns and the quadrupolar parameters of the solvated phase are different from both the α-phase and the δ-phase, although the fluorescence emission shows no substantial difference between the α-phase and the solvated phase. Moreover, we have shown that after the removal of ethanol from the matrix the solvated Alq3 has similar XRD patterns and quadrupolar parameters to that of the α-phase. Conclusion The 2D MQMAS experiments have shown that all the different modifications of Alq3 have 27Al in single unique crystallographic site. The quadrupolar parameters predicted using the DFT calculation under the isodensity polarisable continuum model resemble closely the experimentally obtained values. The solvated phase of Alq3 containing ethanol has structural difference from the α-phase of Alq3 (containing meridional isomer) from the solid-state NMR studies. Solid-state NMR can hence be used as an effective complementary tool to XRD for characterisation and structural elucidation.
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