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“Living” Luminogens: Light Driven ACQ-to-AIE Transformation Accompanied with Solid-State Actuation


In situ photo-irradiation of trans-2-(4-fluorostyryl)benzo[d]oxazole (t-FSBO) and trans-2-(2,4-difluorostyryl)benzo[d]oxazole (t-2FSBO) with aggregation-caused quenching (ACQ) characteristics in the solid-state afforded unprecedented aggregation-induced emission (AIE) luminogens through [2+2] cycloaddition. Although the photoreaction products were weakly conjugated, they were emissive. Interestingly, the product cisoid-2,2’-(3,4-bis(2,4-fluorophenyl)cyclobutene-1,2-diyl)bis(benzo[d]oxazole) (c-2FPCBO) could form blue and yellow emissive crystals due to the different packing modes. Crystallographic results and computational calculation suggested that this anomalous phenomenon was attributed to intramolecular and intermolecular through-space conjugation. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported in-situ ACQ-to-AIE transformation achieved by UV irradiation, deepening the understanding that non-conjugated molecules can be emissive. In addition to this novel and accessible ACQ-to-AIE transformation, the photosalient effect was also observed during the reactions. Notably, a macroscopic actuator was achieved by simply coating t-FSBO on a nitrile butadiene glove, which could bend over 70° towards UV light source. This system thus offers a new class of AIE luminogens with a “living” character.

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Article information

14 Mar 2020
26 Mar 2020
First published
26 Mar 2020

Mater. Horiz., 2020, Accepted Manuscript
Article type

“Living” Luminogens: Light Driven ACQ-to-AIE Transformation Accompanied with Solid-State Actuation

H. Wang, H. Xing, J. Gong, H. Zhang, J. Zhang, P. Wei, G. Yang, J. W. Y. Lam, R. Lu and B. Z. Tang, Mater. Horiz., 2020, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/D0MH00447B

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