Chemistry (Weinheim an der Bergstrasse, Germany)

Thermal or mechanical stimuli-induced photoluminescence color change of a molecular assembly composed of an amphiphilic anthracene derivative in water.

PMID 25043342


Molecular assemblies that change photoluminescence color in response to thermal or mechanical stimulation without dissociation into the monomeric states in water are described herein. A dumbbell-shaped amphiphilic compound forms micellar molecular assemblies in water and exhibits yellow photoluminescence derived from excimer formation of the luminescent core, which contains a 2,6-diethynylanthracene moiety. Annealing of the aqueous solution induces a photoluminescence color change from yellow to green (λem, max =558→525 nm). The same photoluminescence color change is also achieved by rubbing the yellow-photoluminescence-emitting molecular assemblies adsorbed on glass substrates with cotton wool in water. The observed green photoluminescence is ascribed to micelles that are distinct from the yellow-photoluminescence-emitting micelles, on the basis of transmission electron microscopy observations, atomic force microscopy observations, and dynamic light scattering measurements. We examined the relationship between the structure of the molecular assemblies and the photophysical properties of the anthracene derivative in water before and after thermal or mechanical stimulation and concluded that thermal or mechanical stimuli-induced slight changes of the molecular-assembled structures in the micelles result in the change in the photoluminescence color from yellow to green in water.

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