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Supercooled Liquid β‑Diketones with Mechanoresponsive Emission

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journal contribution
posted on 14.10.2019, 14:44 by Tristan Butler, Fang Wang, Margaret L. Daly, Christopher A. DeRosa, Diane A. Dickie, Michal Sabat, Cassandra L. Fraser
Shear-induced crystallization of dyes in the amorphous state is an effective strategy for generating higher energy emission after mechanical perturbationa rare phenomenon in mechanoresponsive materials. Recently, we reported that a β-diketone with a 3,4,5-trimethoxy-substituted phenyl ring formed a stable supercooled liquid (SCL) phase after melting and cooling in air. To tune the lifetime of β-diketones in the SCL phase, a series of dyes with 3,4,5-trimethoxy-substituted phenyl rings were synthesized. Derivatives with naphthyl and phenyl rings were prepared in order to modulate crystallization through arene interactions. Additionally, dyes were substituted with alkoxy chains of varying length to promote crystallization through increased van der Waals interactions. Video screening in conjunction with differential scanning calorimetry and X-ray diffraction studies indicated that naphthyl-substituted derivatives exhibited increased melted state lifetimes and that increasing the alkoxy chain length can induce crystallization. Analysis of molecular packing of single crystals of PH, PC1, PC3, and PC5 revealed that the central para-substituted methoxy group of the trimethoxy-substituted ring was forced out of the molecular plane because of steric interactions with neighboring methoxy groups. The stabilities of the SCLs were generally correlated with the torsion angles of the para methoxy groups, where derivatives with smaller angles exhibited faster rates of crystallization. Mechanical perturbation of the SCL phases resulted in shear-induced crystallization of PH, PC1, PC3, and NC6 derivatives. In some cases, traditional mechanochromic luminescence with a crystalline-to-amorphous phase transition was also observed, which indicates that some trimethoxy-substituted β-diketones exhibit more than one type of mechanoresponsive luminescence.

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