Extended [pi]-conjugated pyrene derivatives: structural, photophysical and electrochemical properties

This article presents a set of extended [pi]-conjugated pyrene derivatives, namely 1,3-di(arylethynyl)-7-tert-butylpyrenes, which were synthesized by a Pd-catalyzed Sonogashira coupling reaction of 1,3-dibromo-7-tert-butylpyrenes with the corresponding arylethynyl group in good yields. Despite the presence of the tert-butyl group located at the 7-position of pyrene, X-ray crystallographic analyses show that the planarity of the Y-shaped molecules still exhibits strong face-to-face [pi]-[pi] stacking in the solid state; all of the compounds exhibit blue or green emission with high quantum yields (QYs) in dichloromethane. DFT calculations and electrochemistry revealed that this category of compound possesses hole-transporting characteristics. In addition, with strong electron-donating (-N(CH3)2) or electron-withdrawing (-CHO) groups in 2 d or 2 f, these molecules displayed efficient intramolecular charge-transfer (ICT) emissions with solvatochromic shifts from blue to yellow (green) on increasing the solvent polarity. Furthermore, the compounds 2 d and 2 f possess strong CT characteristics.