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Keywords:

  • absorption;
  • chromophores;
  • cross-coupling;
  • dendrimers;
  • fluorescence

Abstract

The photophysical and two-photon absorption (TPA) properties of biphotonic chromophores with one or two phenol pendant units were studied and compared with that of a model biphotonic quadrupolar chromophore. A water-soluble dendritic structure was then synthesized by using the pendant moieties as starting points for the construction of dendritic branches. We show that the polarity of the environment significantly modulates both the fluorescence and the TPA responses of the different chromophoric derivatives. This extends to more subtle effects that involve phenol pendant moieties that were found to act as discrete solvating units and to modify both the photophysics and the TPA response of the chromophore. This demonstrates the high sensitivity of the TPA response of quadrupolar derivatives to minute alterations in the environment. Moreover, the dendritic branches were found to behave as a peculiar cybotactic environment that was able to tune the fluorescence and TPA response of the inner chromophore by creating a polar environment. This reveals a new direction for exploiting such effects by playing on the dendritic architecture (e.g., the nature and shape of the building blocks, the geometry and position of the chromophore) to modulate the TPA responses.