The endeavor of vibration-induced emission (VIE) for dynamic emissions
Organic chromophores with large Stokes shifts and dual emissions are fascinating because of their fundamental and applied interest. Vibration-induced emission (VIE) refers to a tunable multiple fluorescence exhibited by saddle-shaped N,N′-disubstituted-dihydribenzo[a,c]phenazines (DHPs), which involves photo-induced configuration vibrations from bent to planar form along the N–N axis. VIE-active molecules show intrinsic long-wavelength emissions in the unconstrained state (planar state) but bright short-wavelength emissions in the constrained state (bent state). The emission response for VIE-active luminogens is highly sensitive to steric hindrance encountered during the planarization process such that a tiny structural variation can induce an evident change in fluorescence. This can often be achieved by tuning the intensity ratio of short- and long-wavelength bands. In some special cases, the alterations in the emission wavelength of VIE fluorophores can be achieved step by step by harnessing the degree of bending angle motion in the excited state. In this perspective, we summarize the latest progress in the field of VIE research. New bent heterocyclic structures, as novel types of VIE molecules, are being developed, and the general features of the chemical structures are also being proposed. Technologically, novel emission color-tuning approaches and VIE-based probes for visualizing biological activity are presented to demonstrate how the dynamic VIE effect can be exploited for cutting-edge applications.