The antipodal introduction of two bromine atoms on the 2,12 β-pyrrolic position of 5,10,15,20-tetra(3,5-di-tert-butylphenyl)porphyrin was successfully achieved by a light-induced reaction of the substrate with excess NBS. Complexation with NiII of the major regioisomer led to good quality crystals, suitable for X-ray structure determination with unprecedented probability levels. The regiospecific character of the synthetic procedure and the exactness of the bromine atom position assignment were thus confirmed, suggesting an unexpected electrophilic aromatic substitution pathway rather than a free-radical halogenation process. A QTAIM topological analysis on the DFT-optimized wave function of the monosubstituted free-base porphyrin intermediate carrying a bromine atom in C2 β-pyrrolic position confirmed the largest negative charge for the C12 carbon atom in antipodal position, in agreement with the proposed electrophilic aromatic substitution mechanism.
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