Mechanochromic luminescent metal complexes have recently attracted considerable interest as smart materials for use in the fields of luminescence switches, mechanosensors, mechanohistory indicators, security papers, optoelectronic devices, and data storage. In this review, recent advancements in metal complex mechanochromic luminescence are summarized. The majority of the reported mechanochromic luminescent metal complex systems are discussed, including Zn(II), Au(I), Pt(II), Ag(I), Cu(I), Al(III), and Ir(III) complexes. Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) complexes are described based on the existence of a structural relationship between AIE compounds and mechanochromism. It is expected that AIE complexes may become important alternative sources of mechanochromic luminescent complexes.
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