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Excited-State Dynamics of Dithienylethenes Functionalized for Self-Supramolecular Assembly

The Journal of Physical Chemistry A 2018

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.7b10767

The photoswitching and competitive processes of two photochromic dithienylethenes (DTEs) functionalized at both sides with 2-ureido-4[1H]-pyrimidone (UPy) quadruple hydrogen-bonding recognition patterns have been investigated with NMR experiments, ultrafast spectroscopy, and density functional theory (DFT) calculations. The originality of these molecules is their ability to form large supramolecular assemblies induced by light for the closed form (CF) species while the open form (OF) species exist as small oligomers. Photochromic parameters have been determined and photochemical pathways have been rationalized with clear distinction between the antiparallel (OF-AP) and parallel (OF-P) species. A new photocyclization pathway via triplet manifold has been evidenced. The effect of the supramolecular assembly on the photochemical response is discussed. Unlike the photoreversion process, which is unaffected by supramolecular assembly, rate constants of the photocyclization reaction and intersystem crossing process are sensitive to the presence of small OF oligomers.

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