KGaA Weinheim. A novel molecular design strategy is provided to rationally tune the stimuli response of luminescent materials with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) characteristics. A series of new AIE-active molecules (AIE rotors) are prepared by covalently linking different numbers of tetraphenylethene moieties together. Upon gradually increasing the number of rotatable phenyl rings, the sensitivity of the response of the AIE rotors to viscosity and temperature is significantly enhanced. Although the molecular size is further enlarged, the performance is only slightly improved due to slightly increased effective rotors, but with largely increased rotational barriers. Such molecular engineering and experimental results offer more in-depth insight into the AIE mechanism, namely, restriction of intramolecular rotations. Notably, through this rational design, the AIE rotor with the largest molecular size turns out to be the most viscosensitive luminogen with a viscosity factor of up to 0.98.
- Aggregation-induced emission (AIE)
- Structure-activity relationships
- Synthesis design
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