A new mono substituted phthalonitrile derivative 3 was prepared by a nucleophilic displacement reaction of 4-nitrophthalonitrile with 2-(2H-1,2,3-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenol. Novel metallophthalocyanines 4-8 (M = Zn, Ni, Co, Cu, Lu, respectively), metal free 9 and double decker Lu(III) phthalocyanine 10 with four peripheral 2-(2H-1,2,3-benzotriazol-2-yl)-4-(1,1,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)phenoxy groups were synthesized by cyclotetramerisation of the phthalonitrile and characterized by elemental analyses, FTIR, H-1 NMR, UV-vis and MALDI-TOF MS spectral data. Cyclic voltammetry, differential pulse voltammetry and in situ spectroelectrochemistry of the phthalocyanine compounds have been studied. This allowed us to identify and compare metal- and phthalocyanine ring-based redox processes of the complexes. Impedance spectroscopy (IS) and dc conductivity measurements were performed as a function of temperature (300-430 K) and frequency (40-10(5) Hz.). The sensing properties of the films for toluene were also investigated. The dc results showed an activated conductivity dependence on temperature for all films. While room temperature impedance spectra consist of a curved line, a transformation into a full semicircle with increasing temperature was observed. The analysis of ac conductivity data showed that the CBH model is the dominant conduction mechanism for the electron transport in the films. While exposure to toluene has no effect on the conductivity of the film of 8-10 completely reversible sensor response to toluene only were obtained for compounds 4-7. It was also observed that the operating temperature had a considerable effect on sensing characteristics of the films. (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.