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Issue 12, 2010
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Non-planar push–pull chromophores

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The development of a unique class of non-planar push–pull chromophores by means of [2 + 2] cycloaddition, followed by cycloreversion, of electron-deficient olefins, such as tetracyanoethene (TCNE), 7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane (TCNQ) and 2,3,5,6-tetrafluoro-7,7,8,8-tetracyanoquinodimethane (F4-TCNQ), as well as dicyanovinyl (DCV) and tricyanovinyl (TCV) derivatives, to donor-substituted alkynes is explored in this feature article. This high-yielding, “click-chemistry”-type transformation with acetylenic dendrimers affords dendritic electron sinks capable of multiple electron uptake within a narrow potential range. An [AB]-type oligomer with a dendralene backbone was synthesised by a one-pot, multi-component cascade reaction of polyyne oligomers with TCNE and tetrathiafulvalene (TTF). In most cases, the resulting chromophores feature intense intramolecular charge-transfer bands extending far into the near infrared region and some of them display high third-order optical nonlinearities. Despite substitution with strong donors, the electron-withdrawing moieties in the new chromophores remain potent acceptors and a number of them display positive first reduction potentials (vs. the ferrocenium/ferrocene (Fc+/Fc) couple in CH2Cl2), which rival those of parent TCNE, TCNQ and F4-TCNQ. The non-planarity of the chromophores strongly enhances their physical properties when compared to planar push–pull analogues. They feature high solubility, thermal stability and sublimability, which enables formation of amorphous, high-optical-quality thin films by vapour phase deposition and makes them interesting as advanced functional materials for novel opto-electronic devices.

Graphical abstract: Non-planar push–pull chromophores

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Article information

16 Dec 2009
03 Feb 2010
First published
17 Feb 2010

Chem. Commun., 2010,46, 1994-2006
Article type
Feature Article

Non-planar push–pull chromophores

S. Kato and F. Diederich, Chem. Commun., 2010, 46, 1994
DOI: 10.1039/B926601A

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