Cruciform pi-systems: novel two-dimensional cross-conjugated chromophores possessing spatially separated frontier molecular orbitals
Zucchero, Anthony Joseph
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The design of chromophores targets materials with optoelectronic properties necessary for advanced applications. Organic materials possess properties which emerge from the collective impact of the constituent backbone and substituents as well as their connectivity (i.e. molecular architecture), necessitating the exploration of novel conjugated architectures. This thesis chronicles our examination of 1,4-distyryl-2,5-bis(arylethynyl)benzenes (cruciforms, XFs). Electronic substitution of this 'X-shaped' cross-conjugated scaffold tunes both the energy levels and the spatial distribution of the frontier molecular orbitals (FMOs) in XFs. The resulting fluorophores exhibit FMO separation, imbuing XFs with desirable properties for sensory applications. Using model analytes, we examine how the underlying FMO arrangement and the nature of analyte interaction elicit observable responses. These studies provide a foundation for future access of functional responsive ratiometric cores. This case study demonstrates the importance and unique potential of FMO-separated fluorophores.