Solid-state thermochromism and phase transitions of charge transfer 1,3-diamino-4,6-dinitrobenzene dyes

Jong Hoon Lee, Panče Naumov, Ihn Hee Chung, Sang Cheol Lee

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The lower 1,3-bis(hydroxyalkylamino) homologues of the strong intramolecular X-type charge transfer (CT) system 1,3-diamino-4,6-dinitrobenzene (DADNB) exhibit reversible color change in the solid state from yellow at room temperature (RT) to orange and red at high temperature (HT). To investigate the structural prerequisites for occurrence of this phenomenon, we prepared 10 new derivatives of DADNB where the hydroxyalkyl arms at the amino groups were replaced with substituents having different electronic and steric profiles. Two of the new materials exhibit sharp and reversible thermochromic change in the solid state: when heated, the bis(aminoethyl) derivative (DADNB-1) undergoes color change from orange-red to brown, while one of the three polymorphs of the bisphenyl product (DADNB-2) changes its color from red to yellow. The physicochemical analysis and the crystal structures of seven of these compounds, one of which is trimorphic, confirmed that both phenomena are due to solid-solid phase transitions. The brown high-temperature phase of DADNB-1 presents the first example where the absorption is shifted beyond the red region. Form C of DADNB-2 is the first material of this group that exhibits "negative" thermochromism, where the high-temperature phase absorbs at lower wavelength than the low-temperature one. The results demonstrate the potentials of these simple and easily accessible organic molecular materials for thermal switching of the optical properties by utility of intermolecular interactions to modulate the intramolecular CT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10087-10096
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry A
Issue number35
StatePublished - Sep 8 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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