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Spring 3-1-2019


Chemistry - A European Journal



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We develop the chemistry of boron difluoride hydrazone dyes (BODIHYs) bearing two aryl substituents and explore their properties. The low-energy absorption bands (λmax = 427–464 nm) of these dyes depend on the nature of the N-aryl groups appended to the BODIHY framework. Electron-donating and extended p-conjugated groups cause a red shift, whereas electron-withdrawing groups result in a blue shift. The title compounds were weakly photoluminescent in solution and strongly photoluminescent as thin films (λPL = 525–578 nm) with quantum yields of up to 18% and lifetimes of 1.1–1.7 ns, consistent with the dominant radiative decay through fluorescence. Addition of water to THF solutions of the BODIHYs studied causes molecular aggregation which restricts intramolecular motion and thereby enhances photoluminescence. The observed photoluminescence of BODIHY thin films is likely facilitated by a similar molecular packing effect. Finally, cyclic voltammetry studies confirmed that BODIHY derivatives bearing para-substituted N-aryl groups could be reversibly oxidized (Eox1 = 0.62–1.02 V vs. Fc/Fc+) to their radical cation forms. Chemical oxidation studies confirmed that para-substituents at the N-aryl groups are required to circumvent radical decomposition pathways. Our findings provide new opportunities and guiding principles for the design of sought-after multifunctional boron difluoride complexes that are photoluminescent in the solid state.

Citation of this paper:

Cappello, D.; Therien, D.A.B.; Staroverov, V.N.; Lagugné-Labarthet, F.; Gilroy, J.B.*Optoelectronic, Aggregation, and Redox Properties of Double-Rotor Boron Difluoride Hydrazone Dyes” Chemistry - A European Journal 2019, 25, 5994–6006.

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