Document Type




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American Chemical Society

Source Publication

Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters

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There is much current interest in the design of molecular actuators, which undergo reversible, controlled motion in response to an external stimulus (light, heat, oxidation, etc.). Here we describe the design and synthesis of a series of cofacially arrayed polyfluorenes (MeFnHm) with varied end-capping groups, which undergo redox-controlled electromechanical actuation. Such cofacially arrayed polyfluorenes are a model molecular scaffold to investigate fundamental processes of charge and energy transfer across a π-stacked assembly, and we show with the aid of NMR and optical spectroscopies, X-ray crystallography and DFT calculations that in the neutral state the conformation of MeFnH1 and MeFnH2 is open rather than cofacial, with a conformational dependence that is highly influenced by the local environment. Upon (electro)chemical oxidation, these systems undergo a reversible transformation into a closed fully π-stacked conformation, driven by charge-resonance stabilization of the cationic charge. These findings are expected to aid the design of novel wire-like cofacially arrayed systems capable of undergo redox-controlled actuation.


Accepted version. Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, Vol. 9, No. 15 (July 9, 2018): 4233-4238. DOI. © 2018 American Chemical Society. Used with permission.

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