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Multifunctional Self-Assembled Macrocycles with Enhanced Emission and Reversible Photochromic Behavior

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journal contribution
posted on 26.02.2019, 21:50 by Soumalya Bhattacharyya, Aniket Chowdhury, Rupak Saha, Partha Sarathi Mukherjee
A series of self-assembled functional Pt­(II) molecular hexagons (M1M3) is reported. Hexagons M1 and M2 were designed employing aggregation induced emissive and photochromic building blocks, respectively, while macrocycle M3 is a bifunctional, containing both the kinds of building units. Hexagons M1 and M3 were found to inherit the enhanced emission with aggregate formation which was explored using UV–vis and fluorescence spectroscopy. The enhanced emission of macrocycle M3 compared to that of its building units was driven both by metal–ligand coordination and formation of nanoaggregates as evident from SEM, DLS and TEM analyses. Two of the macrocycles (M2 and M3) were also found to be photochromic due to the presence of spiropyran in the molecular backbone. Due to the virtue of protonation–deprotonation equilibrium of the spiropyran, these macrocycles (M2 and M3) showed reversible acidochromic behavior. Macrocycle M3 represents the first example of a self-assembled Pt­(II) architecture which is multifunctional with aggregation-induced emission (AIE), photochromic, and acidochromic properties. This new generation macrocycle (M3) also showed coordination-driven enhanced emission and light-induced color change behavior compared to the starting building blocks. Our present approach of incorporating multiple functions into a single self-assembled structure with enhanced functionality compared to the starting building blocks via coordination self-assembly is noteworthy and has huge potential for the development of multifunctional materials.