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Issue 3, 2017

White-light emission from a single heavy atom-free molecule with room temperature phosphorescence, mechanochromism and thermochromism

Author affiliations

Abstract

Two heavy atom-free luminophores (SHB2t and SDB2t) with simple molecular structures have been synthesized via Suzuki coupling reactions in which both display white-light emission with prompt fluorescence and room temperature phosphorescence (RTP) in the solid state. The impressive RTP of the luminophores is produced by a synergistic effect of the strong intermolecular hydrogen bonding in addition to the spin–orbit coupling of the sulfonyl oxygen atoms and the moderate singlet-triplet energy gaps (ΔEST). These factors facilitate the intersystem crossing (ISC) process to generate triplet excitons in which the molecular conformations become immobilized to effectively suppress radiationless decay. Under the stimuli of mechanical force and solvent vapor, the RTP of SHB2t and SDB2t can be simply turned off and on by breaking and reforming the robust hydrogen bonding, which leads to remarkable and reversible mechanochromism between white and deep-blue emission. Moreover, two different thermochromic processes have been observed for the pristine and ground samples of SDB2t, in which a tricolor switching system between white, deep-blue and blue emission has been successfully achieved through the sequential control of grinding, heating and fuming. From detailed studies we have determined that the mechanism for the thermochromism of SDB2t is correlated with the rearrangement of the white-light emitting molecules to a new packing mode without RTP emission.

Graphical abstract: White-light emission from a single heavy atom-free molecule with room temperature phosphorescence, mechanochromism and thermochromism

Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
10 Jul 2016
Accepted
01 Nov 2016
First published
01 Nov 2016

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 1909-1914
Article type
Edge Article

White-light emission from a single heavy atom-free molecule with room temperature phosphorescence, mechanochromism and thermochromism

B. Xu, H. Wu, J. Chen, Z. Yang, Z. Yang, Y. Wu, Y. Zhang, C. Jin, P. Lu, Z. Chi, S. Liu, J. Xu and M. Aldred, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 1909 DOI: 10.1039/C6SC03038F

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported Licence. You can use material from this article in other publications without requesting further permissions from the RSC, provided that the correct acknowledgement is given.

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