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Issue 47, 2017
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Coordination-modulated piezochromism in metal–viologen materials

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While stimuli-responsive chromic phenomena are well known for various viologen-containing organic and metal–organic materials, viologen-based piezochromism is a very recent discovery in organic compounds. Here we present the first piezochromic metal–viologen material and the modulation of the pressure-responsive behavior through coordination structures. By means of ultraviolet-visible spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, electron paramagnetic resonance, in situ/ex situ X-ray diffraction and DFT calculations, we demonstrated that a zigzag-chain CdII coordination polymer (1) with a viologen-dicarboxylate zwitterionic ligand shows reversible piezochromism, with modulations in threshold pressure and visible-light absorption (color) compared with the free ligand. We also illustrated that piezochromism can be suppressed upon coordination of the same ligand in a rigid 3D framework with the same metal ion. Two basic requirements were proposed from viologen-based piezochromism: appropriate donor–acceptor contacts providing electron transfer pathways, and structural flexibility allowing pressure to further reduce the contacts. We expect great prospects in tuning piezochromism and designing new pressure-responsive materials through diverse metal–viologen combinations. The very fast photochromic response of compound 1 at ambient pressure was also studied, which was attributed to the rather short donor–acceptor contacts in the structure.

Graphical abstract: Coordination-modulated piezochromism in metal–viologen materials

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The article was received on 14 Sep 2017, accepted on 31 Oct 2017 and first published on 31 Oct 2017

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TC04208F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. C, 2017,5, 12400-12408
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    Coordination-modulated piezochromism in metal–viologen materials

    Q. Sui, Y. Yuan, N. Yang, X. Li, T. Gong, E. Gao and L. Wang, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2017, 5, 12400
    DOI: 10.1039/C7TC04208F

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