In N-(2,5-di-tert-butylphenyl)-9-pyrrolidinoperylene-3,4-dicarboximide (5PI) the absorption and emission spectra display large solvatochromic shifts, but, remarkably, the Stokes shift is practically independent of solvent polarity. This unique behavior is caused by the extraordinarily large ground-state dipole moment of 5PI, which further increases upon increasing the solvent polarity, whereas the excited-state dipole moment is less solvent dependent. In the corresponding piperidine compound, 6PI, this effect is much less important owing to the weaker coupling between the amino group and the aromatic imide moiety, and in the corresponding naphthalimide, 5NI, it is absent. The latter shows the conventional solvatochromic behavior of a push–pull substituted conjugated system, that is, minor shifts in absorption and a larger change in the emission energy with solvent polarity.
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