Electrochemical, spectroelectrochemical, and molecular quadratic and cubic nonlinear optical properties of alkynylruthenium dendrimers

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Journal Article
Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2006, 128 (33), pp. 10819 - 10832
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A combination of cyclic voltammetry (CV), UV-vis-NIR spectroscopy and spectroelectrochemistry, hyper-Rayleigh scattering (HRS) [including depolarization studies], Z-scan and degenerate four-wave mixing (DFWM) [including studies employing an optically transparent thin-layer electrochemical (OTTLE) cell to effect electrochemical switching of nonlinearity], pump-probe, and electroabsorption (EA) measurements have been used to comprehensively investigate the electronic, linear optical, and nonlinear optical (NLO) properties of nanoscopic π-delocalizable electron-rich alkynylruthenium dendrimers, their precursor dendrons, and their linear analogues. CV, UV-vis-NIR spectroscopy, and UV-vis-NIR spectroelectrochemistry reveal that the reversible metal-centered oxidation processes in these complexes are accompanied by strong linear optical changes, "switching on" low-energy absorption bands, the frequency of which is tunable by ligand replacement. HRS studies at 1064 nm employing nanosecond pulses reveal large nonlinearities for these formally octupolar dendrimers; depolarization measurements are consistent with lack of coplanarity upon π-framework extension through the metal. EA studies at 350-800 nm in a poly(methyl methacrylate) matrix are consistent with the important transitions having a charge-transfer exciton character that increases markedly on introduction of peripheral polarizing substituent. Time-resolved pump-probe studies employing 55 ps, 527 nm pulses reveal absorption saturation, the longest excited-state lifetime being observed for the dendrimer. Z-scan studies at 800 nm employing femtosecond pulses reveal strong two-photon absorption that increases significantly on progression from linear complex to zero- and then first-generation dendrimer with no loss of optical transparency. Both refractive and absorptive nonlinearity for selected alkynylruthenium dendrimers have been reversibly "switched" by employing the Z-scan technique at 800 and 1180 nm and 100-150 fs pulses, together with a specially modified OTTLE cell, complementary femtosecond time-resolved DFWM and transient absorption studies at 800 nm suggesting that the NLO effects originate in picosecond time scale processes. © 2006 American Chemical Society.
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