Stiff-stilbene derivatives as new bright fluorophores with aggregation-induced emission

  • Ya-Hang Wu
  • Kun Huang
  • Shu-Feng Chen
  • Yu-Zhe ChenEmail author
  • Chen-Ho Tung
  • Li-Zhu WuEmail author


Stiff-stilbene derivatives have been widely explored as molecular rotors, molecular force probes and optical switches with excellent performance. However, their function as fluorophores is poorly understood. In the present work, we design three stiffstilbene derivatives and study their photophysical properties. These compounds exhibit very weak emission in solution but significantly enhanced monomer emission in viscous solvent, bright excimer emission in aggregates and at solid state. Detailed spectroscopic studies, single crystal structural analysis, powder X-ray diffraction (XRD) as well as effects of substituents have been carefully examined. They provide direct evidence that intermolecular interactions and molecular packing, which can restrict bond vibration and rotation, are responsible for the bright aggregation-induced emission.


stiff-stilbene derivatives intermolecular interactions molecular packing aggregation-induced emission 


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This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (2017YFA0206903), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (21871280, 21861132004), the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XDB17000000), the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (QYZDY-SSW-JSC029), and K. C. Wong Education Foundation.

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Copyright information

© Science China Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Key Laboratory of Photochemical Conversion and Optoelectronic Materials, Technical Institute of Physics and ChemistryChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.University of the Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.College of Chemistry and Chemical EngineeringInner Mongolia UniversityHohhotChina

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