Cation–Anion Interaction-Directed Molecular Design Strategy for Mechanochromic Luminescence

Authors

  • Gaocan Li,

    1. Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology of Ministry of Education College of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China
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  • Feijie Song,

    1. Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology of Ministry of Education College of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China
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  • Di Wu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology of Ministry of Education College of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China
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  • Jingbo Lan,

    1. Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology of Ministry of Education College of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China
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  • Xingyan Liu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology of Ministry of Education College of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China
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  • Jie Wu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology of Ministry of Education College of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China
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  • Shuaijun Yang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology of Ministry of Education College of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China
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  • Dan Xiao,

    1. Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology of Ministry of Education College of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China
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  • Jingsong You

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Green Chemistry and Technology of Ministry of Education College of Chemistry and State Key Laboratory of Biotherapy West China Medical School, Sichuan University, Chengdu, PR China
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Abstract

Mechanofluorochromic materials have great potential for a wide variety of applications such as sensors, memory devices, motion systems, security systems, and so forth. However, only few design principles have been disclosed, which greatly impedes the growth of mechanofluorochromic dyes. Here, a strategy of molecular design for mechanochromic luminescence is reported, based on the cation–anion interaction-directed switching of molecular stacking. On the basis of this strategy, a series of common N-heteroaromatic onium fluorophores such as imidazolium, 1,2,4-triazolium, triazolopyridinium, benzoimidazolium, γ-carbolinium, and pyridinium salts have been designed and proved to have striking reversible mechanofluorochromic behaviors. The simple attachment of a non-fluorescent imidazolium unit to the pyrene scaffold through a flexible carbon chain can even trigger the mechanofluorochromic phenomenon, which gives a consummate interpretation that the cation–anion interaction can be considered as an important general tool to design organic mechanochromic luminescent materials.

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