Title: Photoswitchable Molecular Units with Tunable Nonlinear Optical Activity: A Theoretical Investigation

Authors: Aggelos Avramopoulos, Heribert Reis, Demeter Tzeli, Robert Zaleśny and Manthos G. Papadopoulos

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules28155646

Date: 08/11/2023

Working Group: WG3

Grant Period: GP1

Grant Period Goal (number):

Covered deliverables from the MoU (number):

Countries involved: Greece, Poland

Number of female/young/ITC coauthors: 1

Abstract:The first-, second-, and third-order molecular nonlinear optical properties, including twophoton absorption of a series of derivatives, involving two dithienylethene (DTE) groups connected by several molecular linkers (bis(ethylene-1,2-dithiolato)Ni- (NiBDT), naphthalene, quasilinear oligothiophene chains), are investigated by employing density functional theory (DFT). These properties can be efficiently controlled by DTE switches, in connection with light of appropriate frequency. NiBDT, as a linker, is associated with a greater contrast, in comparison to naphthalene, between the first and second hyperpolarizabilities of the “open–open” and the “closed–closed” isomers. This is explained by invoking the low-lying excited states of NiBDT. It is shown that the second hyperpolarizability can be used as an index, which follows the structural changes induced by photochromism. Assuming a Förster type transfer mechanism, the intramolecular excited-state energy transfer (EET) mechanism is studied. Two important parameters related to this are computed: the electronic coupling (VDA) between the donor and acceptor fragments as well as the overlap between the absorption and emission spectra of the donor and acceptor groups. NiBDT as a linker is associated with a low electronic coupling, VDA, value. We found that VDA is affected by molecular geometry. Our results predict that the linker strongly influences the communication between the open–closed DTE groups. The sensitivity of the molecular nonlinear optical properties could assist with identification of molecular isomers.


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