5 years ago

Conformational Control of Ultrafast Molecular Rotor Property: Tuning Viscosity Sensing Efficiency by Twist Angle Variation

Conformational Control of Ultrafast Molecular Rotor Property: Tuning Viscosity Sensing Efficiency by Twist Angle Variation
Archana Kushwaha, Dipanwita Das, Rajib Ghosh
Fluorescent molecular rotors find widespread application in sensing and imaging of microscopic viscosity in complex chemical and biological media. Development of viscosity-sensitive ultrafast molecular rotor (UMR) relies upon the understanding of the excited-state dynamics and their implications for viscosity-dependent fluorescence signaling. Unraveling the structure–property relationship of UMR behavior is of significance toward development of an ultrasensitive fluorescence microviscosity sensor. Herein we show that the ground-state equilibrium conformation has an important role in the ultrafast twisting dynamics of UMRs and consequent viscosity sensing efficiency. Synthesis, photophysics, and ultrafast spectroscopic experiments in conjunction with quantum chemical calculation of a series of UMRs based on dimethylaniline donor and benzimidazolium acceptor with predefined ground-state torsion angle led us to unravel that the ultrafast torsional dynamics around the bond connecting donor and acceptor groups profoundly influences the molecular rotor efficiency. This is the first experimental demonstration of conformational control of small-molecule-based UMR efficiencies which can have wider implication toward development of fluorescence sensors based on the UMR principle. Conformation-controlled UMR efficiency has been shown to exhibit commensurate fluorescence enhancement upon DNA binding.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b05947

DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcb.7b05947

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