Aggregation-induced emission of siloles
Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) is a unique and significant photophysical phenomenon that differs greatly from the commonly acknowledged aggregation-caused emission quenching observed for many π-conjugated planar chromophores. The mechanistic decipherment of the AIE phenomenon is of high importance for the advance of new AIE systems and exploitation of their potential applications. Propeller-like 2,3,4,5-tetraphenylsiloles are archetypal AIE-active luminogens, and have been adopted as a core part in the design of numerous luminescent materials with diverse functionalities. In this review article, we elucidate the impacts of substituents on the AIE activity and shed light on the structure–property relationship of siloles, with the aim of promoting the judicious design of AIE-active functional materials in the future. Recent representative advances of new silole-based functional materials and their potential applications are reviewed as well.