Modulation of ICT probability in bi(polyarene)-based O-BODIPYs: towards the development of low-cost bright arene-BODIPY dyads†
We report the synthesis, and spectroscopic and electrochemical properties of a selected library of novel spiranic O-BODIPYs bearing a phenol-based bi(polyarene) unit tethered to the boron center through oxygen atoms. These dyes constitute an interesting family of arene-BODIPY dyads useful for the development of photonic applications due to their synthetic accessibility and tunable photonic properties. It is demonstrated that the electron-donor capability of the involved arene moiety switches on a non-emissive intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) state, which restricts the fluorescence efficiency of the dyad. Interestingly, the influence of this non-radiative deactivation channel can be efficiently modulated by the substitution pattern, either at the dipyrrin ligand or at the polyarene moiety. Thus, dyads featuring electron-rich dipyrrin and electron-poor polyarene show lower or almost negligible ICT probability, and hence display bright fluorescence upon dual excitation at far-away spectral regions. This synthetic approach has allowed the easy development of low-cost efficient ultraviolet-absorbing visible-emitting cassettes by selecting properly the substitution pattern of the involved key units, dipyrrin and bi(polyarene), to modulate not only absorption and emission wavelengths, but also fluorescence efficiencies.