TitleSupramolecular self-assembly mediated aggregation-induced emission of fluorene-derived cyanostilbenes: multifunctional probes for live cell-imaging.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsGouthaman S, Jayaraj A, Sugunalakshmi M, Sivaraman G, P CAyya Swamy
JournalJ Mater Chem B
Date Published2022 Mar 16

The first discovery of aggregation-induced emission (AIE), whereby luminogen aggregation plays a positive role in enhancing the light-emission efficiency, has piqued the interest of many researchers as it opens up a new avenue for the exploration of practically beneficial luminescent materials. Diverse AIE-active luminogens (or AIEgens) with tunable emission colours and very high quantum yields (up to unity) in the solid state have been extensively utilised in a broad range of fields including optoelectronics, energy and bioscience. In this article, we describe novel fluorene-based fluorogens that exhibit bright emission in the solid-state, mechanical stimuli-responsive optical properties and aggregation-induced emissive ability, and were able to modulate their donor and acceptor properties. The target compounds were synthesized by a Knoevenagel condensation followed by Suzuki cross-coupling reaction, which tends to result in good yields. The target cyanostilbenes (4a-4d) show different reversibly switched states with high contrast through morphology modulation and demonstrate solvatochromic, vapochromic, and AIE properties. These results strongly suggest that compound 4d has better properties than the other derivatives (4a-c) due to the presence of extended donor-acceptor ability. Moreover, density-functional theory (DFT) calculations strongly support the UV-Vis and fluorescence spectral studies. The formation of nano-flakes and cuboid-shaped nanocrystals was further confirmed by FE-SEM and AFM studies. The synthesized compound 4d displayed very bright emission in the solid state and in the aggregate state as compared with the other derivatives (4a-4c). These results might be due to the presence of high-color contrast, which is an advantage for elucidation and overcomes the challenges exhibited in live-cell imaging applications. Moreover, an MTT assay on live A549 cells incubated with the target compound (4d) showed very low cytotoxicity even at high concentrations.

Alternate JournalJ Mater Chem B
PubMed ID35294959