Large hyperpolarizabilities at telecommunication-relevant wavelengths in donor-acceptor-donor nonlinear optical chromophores

Animesh Nayak, Jaehong Park, Kurt De Mey, Xiangqian Hu, Timothy V. Duncan, David N. Beratan, Koen Clays, Michael J. Therien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Octopolar D2-symmetric chromophores, based on the MPZnM supermolecular motif in which (porphinato)- zinc(II) (PZn) and ruthenium(II) polypyridyl (M) structural units are connected via ethyne linkages, were synthesized. These structures take advantage of electron-rich mesoarylporphyrin or electron-poor meso-(perfluoroalkyl)porphyrin macrocycles, unsubstituted terpyridyl and 4′-pyrrolidinyl- 2,2′;6′,2″-terpyridyl ligands, and modulation of metal(II) polypyridyl-to-(porphinato)zinc connectivity, to probe how electronic and geometric factors impact the measured hyperpolarizability. Transient absorption spectra obtained at early time delays (tdelay < 400 fs) demonstrate fast excited-state relaxation, and formation of a highly polarized T1 excited state; the T1 states of these chromophores display expansive, intense T1 → Tn absorption manifolds that dominate the 800-1200 nm region of the NIR, long (μs) triplet-state lifetimes, and unusually large NIR excited absorptive extinction coefficients [ϵ(T1 → Tn)105 M-1 cm-1]. Dynamic hyperpolarizability (βλ) values were determined from hyper-Rayleigh light scattering (HRS) measurements, carried out at multiple incident irradiation wavelengths spanning the 800-1500 nm spectral domain. The measured βHRS value (4600 ± 1200 × 10-30 esu) for one of these complexes, RuPZnRu, is the largest yet reported for any chromophore at a 1500 nm irradiation wavelength, highlighting that appropriate engineering of strong electronic coupling between multiple charge-transfer oscillators provides a critical design strategy to realize octopolar NLO chromophores exhibiting large βHRS values at telecomrelevant wavelengths. Generalized Thomas-Kuhn sum (TKS) rules were utilized to compute the effective excited-state-toexcited- state transition dipole moments from experimental linear-absorption spectra; these data were then utilized to compute hyperpolarizabilities as a function of frequency, that include two- and three-state contributions for both βzzz and βxzx tensor components to the RuPZnRu hyperpolarizability spectrum. This analysis predicts that the βzzz and βxzx tensor contributions to the RuPZnRu hyperpolarizability spectrum maximize near 1550 nm, in agreement with experimental data. The TKS analysis suggests that relative to analogous dipolar chromophores, octopolar supermolecules will be likely characterized by more intricate dependences of the measured hyperpolarizability upon irradiation wavelength due to the interactions among multiple different β tensor components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)954-966
Number of pages13
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number12
StatePublished - 28 Dec 2016

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© 2016 American Chemical Society.


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