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Issue 31, 2013
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The effect of the molecular structures of dicyanomethylene compounds on their supramolecular assembly, photophysical and electrochemical properties

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Abstract

Two series of flexible dicyanomethylene compounds, specifically, class 1 and class 2 compounds, have been designed and synthesised. In class 1 compounds, the dicyanomethylene groups are separated by glycol chain spacers of different lengths, whereas, in class 2 compounds, the spacers are alkyl linkers of different lengths. The notion underlying the design of these compounds is that in class 1 molecules, the spacers contain donor oxygen atoms that could not only form hydrogen bonds during the course of crystal packing but also promote withdrawing effects that modify the photophysical and electrochemical properties of these molecules in solution; in contrast, these effects would be absent for class 2 molecules. However, this study revealed that, with respect to crystal packing, the size of the spacers and their even and odd numbers of atoms are more important than their chemical nature. All of the synthesised compounds exhibited blue emission in the solid state and in CH2Cl2 solutions. The photophysical and electrochemical properties of these compounds in solution were not significantly affected by the type and length of the spacer that was used in each molecule. In the solid state, however, the compound with the shortest spacer showed the highest Stokes shift. The electronic transitions for the synthesized compounds in solution were explained by density functional theory and time-dependent density functional theory calculations, which indicated that the methylene moieties control the properties of both classes of compounds and that the spacers do not conjugate with the end groups. These two series of flexible dicyanomethylene compounds could be utilised as molecular building blocks for the development of new solids with novel properties.

Graphical abstract: The effect of the molecular structures of dicyanomethylene compounds on their supramolecular assembly, photophysical and electrochemical properties

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Publication details

The article was received on 08 May 2013, accepted on 31 May 2013 and first published on 31 May 2013


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C3CP51957K
Citation: Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 13013-13023
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    The effect of the molecular structures of dicyanomethylene compounds on their supramolecular assembly, photophysical and electrochemical properties

    C. R. M. O. Matos, F. S. Miranda, J. W. D. M. Carneiro, C. B. Pinheiro and C. M. Ronconi, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013, 15, 13013
    DOI: 10.1039/C3CP51957K

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