American Chemical Society
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Excited-State Odd–Even Effect in Through-Space Interactions

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-16, 03:43 authored by Zuping Xiong, Jianyu Zhang, Jing Zhi Sun, Haoke Zhang, Ben Zhong Tang
The odd–even effect is a fantastic phenomenon in nature, which has been applied in diverse fields such as organic self-assembled monolayers and liquid crystals. Currently, the origin of each odd–even effect remains elusive, and all of the reported odd–even effects are related to the ground-state properties. Here, we discover an excited-state odd–even effect in the through-space interaction (TSI) of nonconjugated tetraphenylalkanes (TPAs). The TPAs with an even number of alkyl carbon atoms (C2-TPA, C4-TPA, and C6-TPA) show strong TSI, long-wavelength emission, and high QY. However, the odd ones (C1-TPA, C3-TPA, C5-TPA, and C7-TPA) are almost nonexistent with negligible QY. Systematically experimental and theoretical results reveal that the excited-state odd–even effect is synthetically determined by three factors: alkyl geometry, molecular movability, and intermolecular packing. Moreover, these flexible luminescent TPAs possess tremendous advantages in fluorescent information encryptions. This work extends the odd–even effect to photophysics, demonstrating its substantial importance and universality in nature.