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Emissive Azobenzenes Delivered on a Silver Coordination Polymer

Inorganic Chemistry 2018

DOI: 10.1021/acs.inorgchem.8b02845

Azobenzene has become a ubiquitous component of functional molecules and polymeric materials because of the light-induced trans → cis isomerization of the diazene group. In contrast, there are very few applications utilizing azobenzene luminescence, since the excitation energy typically dissipates via nonradiative pathways. Inspired by our earlier studies with 2,2′-bis[N,N′-(2-pyridyl)methyl]diaminoazobenzene (AzoAMoP) and related compounds, we investigated a series of five aminoazobenzene derivatives and their corresponding silver complexes. Four of the aminoazobenzene ligands, which exhibit no emission under ambient conditions, form silver coordination polymers that are luminescent at room temperature. AzoAEpP (2,2′-bis[N,N′-(4-pyridyl)ethyl]diaminoazobenzene) assembles into a three-dimensional coordination polymer (AgAAEpP) that undergoes a reversible loss of emission upon the addition of metal-coordinating analytes such as pyridine. The switching behavior is consistent with the disassembly and reassembly of the coordination polymer driven by displacement of the aminoazobenzene ligands by coordinating analytes.

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