Electronic Structure of Metalloporphenes, Antiaromatic Analogs of Graphene

25 October 2023, Version 2
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Zinc porphene is a two-dimensional material made of fully fused zinc porphyrins in a tetragonal lattice. It has a fully conju-gated π-system, making it similar to graphene. Zinc porphene has recently been synthesized and shown to be a semiconduc-tor (Nat. Comm., 2023, 14, 6308.). This is in contrast with all previous predictions of its electronic structure, which indi-cated metallic conductivity. We show that the gap-opening in zinc porphene is caused by a Peierls distortion of its unit cell from square to rectangular, thus giving the first account of its electronic structure in agreement with experiment. Accounting for this distortion requires a proper treatment of electron delocalization, which can be done using hybrid functionals with a substantial amount of exact exchange. Such a functional, PBE38, is then applied to predict the properties of many first tran-sition row metalloporphenes, some of which have already been prepared. We find that changing the metal strongly affects the electronic structure of metalloporphenes, resulting in a rich variety of both metallic conductors and semiconductors, which may be of great of interest to molecular electronics and spintronics. Properties of these materials are mostly governed by the extent of the Peierls distortion and the number of electrons in their π system, analogous to changes in aromaticity observed in cyclic conjugated molecules upon oxidation or reduction. These results give an account of how the concept of antiaromaticity can be extended to periodic systems.


density functional theory
Peierls distortion
antiaromatic polymers
two-dimensional materials

Supplementary weblinks


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