American Chemical Society
ja4c00592_si_001.pdf (5.39 MB)

1,2-BF2 Shift and Photoisomerization Induced Multichromatic Response

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-03-01, 22:35 authored by Qingkai Qi, Shiqing Huang, Xiaogang Liu, Ivan Aprahamian
Adaptive materials that exhibit a multichromatic response as a function of applied stimulus are highly desirable, as they can result in applications ranging from smart surfaces to anticounterfeit devices. Here we report on such a system based on an intriguing thermal 1,2-BF2 shift that transforms a visible-light-activated azo-BF2 photoswitch into a BF2-hydrazone fluorophore (BODIHY) in both solution and the solid-state. Structure–property analysis, in conjunction with DFT calculations, reveals that the shift is catalyzed by the spatial proximity of an oxygen atom next to the BF2 group and that the activation originates from an electronic and not steric effect. Theoretical calculations also show that while the energy barrier for the trans → BODIHY transformation is accessible at room temperature (thermal half-life of 30 h), the cis → BODIHY transformation has a much higher barrier, which is why the 1,2-BF2 shift is not observed for the cis form. The photoswitching of the azo-BF2, in conjunction with the 1,2-BF2 shift, was then used in the multicolor modulation of a switch-containing cross-linked polydimethylsiloxane film using light and/or heat stimuli, elaborating the usefulness of the sophisticated reaction cascade that can be accessed from this simple system.