A new design strategy to activate aggregation-induced emission (AIE) in pyrene chromophores is reported. In a previous report, we demonstrated that highly twisted N,N-dialkylamines of anthracene and naphthalene induce drastic AIE when these donors are introduced at appropriate positions to stabilize the S1/S0 minimum energy conical intersection (MECI). In the present study, this design strategy was applied to pyrene: the introduction of N,N-dimethylamine substituents at the 4,5-positions of pyrene, the so-called K-region, are likely to stabilize MECIs. To examine this hypothesis, four novel pyrene derivatives, which contain highly twisted N,N-dimethylamino groups at the 4- (4-Py), 4,5- (4,5-Py), 1- (1-Py), or 1,6-positions (1,6-Py) were tested. The nonradiative transitions of 4,5-Py are highly efficient (knr = 57.1 × 107 s-1), so that its fluorescence quantum yield in acetonitrile decreases to φfl = 0.04. The solid-state fluorescence of 4,5-Py is efficient (φfl = 0.49). In contrast, 1,6-Py features strong fluorescence (φfl = 0.48) with a slow nonradiative transition (knr = 11.0 × 107 s-1) that is subject to severe quenching (φfl = 0.03) in the solid state. These results underline that the chemistry of the pyrene K-region is intriguing, both from a photophysical perspective and with respect to materials science.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Organic Chemistry