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Flexible and Transparent Oligothiophene‑o‑Carborane-Containing Hybrid Films for Nonlinear Optical Limiting Based on Efficient Two-Photon Absorption

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-06-14, 10:29 authored by Wan Feng, Ke Liu, Jianyang Zang, Gang Wang, Rong Miao, Liping Ding, Taihong Liu, Jinglin Kong, Yu Fang
Structure–property relationship for fluorophores with favorable nonlinear optical (NLO) properties are promising topics in organic chemistry and material science. Herein, a series of terthiophene-o-carborane dyads and triads covalently linked with different end-capping styles were readily synthesized and comprehensively investigated. Quantitative values of the crystal and packing structures, photophysical parameters including aggregation-induced emission (AIE) and two-photon absorption (2PA) were provided. Significant impact of carborane unit for introducing the AIE characteristic has been investigated in contrast to the parent oligothiophene. All the obtained fluorophores exhibit maximum absorption around 370 nm in THF and emit bright reddish photoluminscence with absolute fluorescence quantum yields above 16% in solid states. Intramolecular charge communication between oligothiophene and carborane plays important roles in the related NLO properties. These results are supported well by the time-dependent DFT theoretical calculations. Effective 2PA cross sections (δ2PA = 95–355 GM@650 nm) and transition dipole moments of the derivatives are variable for different end-capping styles. Their potential applications as optical limiting materials based on the 2PA mechanism in solutions and doped PDMS films were further evaluated. Taken together, this work provides an understanding of their structure–property relationship, and flexible PDMS films as outstanding candidates for practical applications in optical limiting.