Abstract Hexa- tert-butyl and dodeca- n-butyl-substituted planar binuclear phthalocyanines sharing a common naphthalene ring with Mg as a central metal were synthesized with high yields and characterized by UV/Vis spectra, luminescence spectra, NMR, electrochemical, and spectroelectrochemical measurements. On the base of these complexes, the metal-free phthalocyanine ligands and the series of binuclear phthalocyanine complexes of rare earth elements (REE) were synthesized. All compounds obtained revealed an intensive near IR-absorption reaching 855 nm for trinuclear phthalocyanine. A crucial increase in NMR spectra resolution was achieved by the addition of ethylene glycol as a disaggregating agent. Spectroelectrochemical measurements during oxidation showed reversible changes of absorbance at 709 and 800 nm.