To broaden the application of aggregation-induced emission (AIE) luminogens (AIEgens), the design of novel small-molecular dyes that exhibit high fluorescence quantum yield (Φfl) in the solid state is required. Considering that the mechanism of AIE can be rationalized based on steric avoidance of non-radiative decay pathways, a series of bridged stilbenes was designed, and their non-radiative decay pathways were investigated theoretically. Bridged stilbenes with short alkyl chains exhibited a strong fluorescence emission in solution and in the solid state, while bridged stilbenes with long alkyl chains exhibited AIE. Based on this theoretical prediction, we developed the bridged stilbenes BPST and DPB, which demonstrate excellent AIE behavior.
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