A family of tunable halochromic switches is developed using a naphthalimide-fused dipyrrin as the core π-conjugated motif. Electronic properties of these dipyrrins are tuned by substitution of their alpha and meso positions with aryl groups of variable donor–acceptor strength. The first protonation results in a conformational change that enhances electronic coupling between the dipyrrin chromophore and the meso substituent, leading to halochromic effects that occasionally exceed 200 nm and switch the absorption between the near-infrared (NIR)-I and NIR-II ranges. A NIR-II photothermal effect, switchable by acid–base chemistry is demonstrated for selected dipyrrins. Further protonation is possible for derivatives bearing additional amino groups, leading to up to four halochromic switching step. The most electron-rich dipyrrins are also susceptible to chemical oxidation, yielding NIR-absorbing radical cations and closed-shell dications.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Advanced Science published by Wiley-VCH GmbH.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Materials Science(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)