Photoinduced color change of naphthalene diimides (NDIs) bearing alkylamine moieties has been observed in the solid state. The color change is attributed to the generation of a NDI radical-anion species, which may be formed through a photoinduced electron-transfer process from the alkylamine moiety to the NDI. The photosensitivity of NDIs is highly dependent on the structures of the alkylamine moieties. Crystallographic analysis, kinetic analysis, UV/Vis/NIR spectroscopic measurements, and analysis of the photoproduct suggested that a radical anion was formed through an irreversible process initiated by proton abstraction between an amine radical cation and the neutral amine moiety. The radical anions formed stacks including mixed-valence stacks and radical-anion stacks, as shown by the broad absorption bands in near-IR spectra. These photosensitive NDIs also showed crystal bending upon photoirradiation, which may be associated with a change in the intermolecular distance of the NDI stacks by the formation of monomeric radical anions, mixed-valence stacks, and radical-anion stacks.
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