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|Photoluminescent compounds synthesized by the Coordination Chemistry and Catalysis Unit glowing under a UV light. Credit: Image courtesy of Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University – OIST|
“We wanted to create better photoluminescent compounds by combining the two previous concepts: the flexibility of the weak aggregation driven complexes and the controllability of the conventional metal-ligand system,” explained Dr. Georgy Filonenko, postdoctoral researcher from the Coordination Chemistry and Catalysis Unit at OIST.
“We found that we could change the color produced by the compound based on what other groups of atoms were bound to the ligand,” illuminates Filonenko. “Larger groups would cause the rings to move closer together, shifting the color to the orange-yellow range, while smaller substituents would make the rings move apart, turning the emission color red. The ability to tune the wavelength of light emitted from these molecules provides a huge advantage over the traditional metal-ligand PL complexes.”
“We see a high potential for these compounds to be used as sensors due to their very high sensitivity to the surrounding environment,” revealed Filonenko.