The effects of incorporation into a solid matrix on the photophysical properties of a nonlinear material have been of interest for some time in our group. It is well known in the literature that for a nonlinear absorbing dye to be the most effective, high concentrations are generally needed. Understanding how the larger concentration and placement into a solid matrix affects their photophysical properties is the key of this study. Here we look at two metallated substituted tetrakis(cumylphenoxy) phthalocyanines with either Pb or In as the central metal. A detailed study of their photophysical properties based on concentration allows for a better understanding of the constraints this environment has to a given material.
It is well known in the literature that for a two photon nonlinear absorbing dye to be the most effective, high concentrations are needed. The problem is that most photophysical studies in solution are done at low concentration and in a solution. These low concentration studies are important for understanding inherent materials properties but it is also important to understand what happens in a material at high concentration. In addition to this, efforts have been made to study the effects of incorporating a dye into a solid matrix environment to better understand the constraints this environment has to a given material. Preliminary results for an epoxy system reveal the formation of excimers (excited state dimers) with an increase in concentration. Excimers are forming from the triplet excited state of the E1-BTF. A rate constant for this formation is 2.6 × 10<sup>5</sup> M<sup>-1</sup> s<sup>-1</sup>. While rather slow, at greater than 50 mM concentration the excimer is readily formed with <90% efficiency. This must be considered when making nonlinear absorption measurements since the excimer will certainly contribute to the overall nonlinearity.
A pseudo-symmetric two-photon absorbing dye (1) containing a central piperazine unit substituted with (benzothiazol-2- yl)-9,9-diethylfluoren-2-yl pendant groups has been synthesized and characterized. The molecule has a two-photonabsorption cross-section of σ<sub>2</sub> = 140 GM in tetrahydrofuran at ~ 740 nm and shows significant solvatochromism in the excited-state fluorescence spectra. The emission spectra broaden and the maxima bathochromically shift from 411 nm to 524 nm in n-hexane and acetonitrile, respectively. Moreover, the central piperazine moiety serves as a potential chelation site for ions. Addition of copper(I) hexafluorophosphate and zinc(II) triflate in acetonitrile indicate ground-state complexation with a shift in the emission maximum from 524 nm to 489 nm and 487 nm, respectively. Interestingly, the newly formed Cu and Zn complexes are more strongly emissive than the free dye. Finally, addition of <i>p</i>-toluenesulfonic acid in tetrahydrofuran also blue-shifts the emission maximum, but the intensity is quenched. Due to the photophysical changes induced by addition of metal ions and protons, the dye shows promise as a potential sensor.
We have been studying exciplex formation in nonlinear optical materials containing a high concentration of 2PA chromophores (AFX dyes) as a means to enhance the nonlinear optical properties. A number of dipolar AFX dyes having various electron-accepting moieties (π-excess and π-deficient examples) and three bisimide compounds having substituents with varying electron-withdrawing power were synthesized to study exciplex formation in their solid state blends. In substrate supported thin films of various equimolar blends containing an AFX dye and bisimide, the dye monomer emission was severely quenched, and a new emission, red-shifted by up to 110 nm, appeared. The emission energies were consistent with the charge recombination energy calculated from the energy levels of the donor and acceptor present in the blend, which confirmed the emission was from an exciplex. Time resolved emission measurements also indicated the presence of much longer lived transients in the blends, consistent with exciplex formation. Spectroelectrochemistry confirmed that the radical cations of these dyes had strong absorption in the NIR region, so exciplex formation is a means to enhance nonlinear optical absorption of the dyes in this spectral region.