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Tetrathiafulvalene–oligofluorene star-shaped systems: new semiconductor materials for fluorescent moisture indicators

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Abstract

A series of novel star-shaped oligofluorene–thiophene–tetrathiafulvalene systems have been synthesised, following different synthetic routes. Each system incorporates a tetrathiafulvalene redox-active centre and four oligofluorene arms, providing a two-dimensional character to the conjugated backbone. The oligomers differ in the number of fluorene units present in the arms (1 to 4) and the terminal groups at the end of each arm (H or trimethylsilyl). Half-unit oligofluorene systems possessing a 1,3-dithiole-2-one core (a known precursor to the tetrathiafulvalene centre) have been synthesised in order to compare the thermal, optical and electrochemical properties. These half-unit systems consist of a 1,3-dithiole-2-one core fused to a thiophene unit at the 3- and 4-positions. Two oligofluorene arms consisting of 1 to 4 monomer units per arm are positioned at the 4- and 6-positions of the thiophene unit, affording extended conjugation through the thiophene centre. The half-unit systems are found to be moderate emitters in solution, however, the star-shaped systems bearing the tetrathiafulvalene core exhibit inhibited fluorescence in both solution and the solid state. We have demonstrated that the emission of the tetrathiafulvalene systems can be enhanced through the oxidation of the redox-centre followed by a consecutive reaction of the strongly electrophilic tetrathiafulvalene dication with such nucleophiles as water and hydrazine. The result of these reactions leads to an increase in the photoluminescence of these systems, affording the opportunity for the tetrathiafulvalene materials to be used as photonic materials in moisture indicators.

Graphical abstract: Tetrathiafulvalene–oligofluorene star-shaped systems: new semiconductor materials for fluorescent moisture indicators

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Publication details

The article was received on 13 Feb 2019, accepted on 13 Mar 2019 and first published on 18 Mar 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9TC00845D
J. Mater. Chem. C, 2019, Advance Article
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    Tetrathiafulvalene–oligofluorene star-shaped systems: new semiconductor materials for fluorescent moisture indicators

    K. Scanlan, A. L. Kanibolotsky, B. Breig, G. J. Hedley and P. J. Skabara, J. Mater. Chem. C, 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9TC00845D

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