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Durham University

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Publication details for Professor Andy Monkman

M. Aydemir, G. Haykir, F. Turksoy, S. Gumus, F.B. Dias & A.P. Monkman (2015). Synthesis and investigation of intra-molecular charge transfer state properties of novel donor-acceptor-donor pyridine derivatives: the effects of temperature and environment on molecular configurations and the origin of delayed fluorescence. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 17(38): 25572-25582.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

A novel series of donor-acceptor-donor (D-A-D) structured pyridine derivatives were synthesised and detailed photo-physical investigations were made using mainly steady-state and time-resolved spectroscopy techniques at varying temperatures. The investigations showed that the molecules have solvent polarity and temperature dependent excited-state configurations, confirmed in two different polarity solvents (295-90 K), i.e. methyl cyclohexane (MCH) and 2-methyltetrahdrofurane (2-MeTHF). In MCH, the investigations revealed dual fluorescence over the temperature range of 295-90 K. At 295 K, the ground-state configuration of the molecules has a partially twisted geometry as determined by DFT calculation, yet the emission originates totally from a locally excited (LE) state, however once the temperature is lowered to 90 K, the twisted molecular configuration is stabilised, and the emission originates from a fully-relaxed intramolecular charge transfer state (ICT), this is contrary to the systems where structural reorganisation stabilises ICT and this is frozen out at low temperatures. The DFT calculations revealed different ground state molecular configurations due to the presence of different electron-donating groups, e.g. the molecule including anthracene groups has a near 901 twisted geometry whereas the triphenylamine including molecule has a pyramidal geometrical folding, therefore, the decrease in temperature restricts the donor degree of rotational freedom. In 2-MeTHF solution, the fluorescence spectrum of both molecules is always of ICT character, but gradually red-shifts through the fluid to glass transition temperature (B135 K), in this case, the fluorescence occurs after structural and solvent-shell relaxations, however, upon cooling below 135 K, the spectra dramatically shift back to blue giving rise to strong emission from an ICT excited-state (but not the LE state) where the molecules have unrelaxed geometries. This significant change in the nature of the emitting species was explained with specific solvent-solute dynamic interactions in the vicinity of the solvation shell and the effect of thermal excitation of molecular vibrational modes of the C-C bond linking donor and acceptor units. Finally, we confirmed that the molecules have ICT ground-state geometry in the solid-state phase (spin-coated films), and the time-resolved decay dynamics were investigated comparing the spin-coated films (at RT and 25 K) and MCH solutions (at 295 K and 90 K).