Photochemistry of 7-Hydroxy-2-(4-hydroxystyryl)-1-benzopyrylium and Related Compounds

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2-Styryl-1-benzopyrylium derivatives exhibit deeper hues and absorption spectra that are substantially red-shifted when compared with their 2-phenyl-1-benzopyrylium analogues. They follow the same pH and light-dependent network of chemical reactions previously described for 2-phenyl-1-benzopyrylium compounds. In this work, the photochromic properties of 7-hydroxy-2-(4-hydroxystyryl)-1-benzopyrylium chloride are reported. This compound was fully characterized by UV-vis absorption, fluorescence emission, pH jumps, and flash photolysis, and its properties were compared with the analogue 7,4'-dihydroxyflavylium (7-hydroxy-2-(4-hydroxyphenyl)-1- benzopyrylium). The trans-chalcones of both compounds lacking the hydroxyl in position 2 were synthesized and used as model compounds since they exhibit cis-trans isomerization but cannot be involved in the other processes resulting from the ring closure. The transient absorption of two triplets attributed to the chalcones Ct/Ct(-), and a tautomer was detected by nanosecond flash photolysis, independent of the existence of the 2-hydroxyl substituent. The experimental results are compatible with the main formation of cis-chalcone from the singlet state. In the case of the styryl derivatives, the fraction of triplet formed from excitation of Ct is much higher, and the fraction of isomerization is much smaller. For this reason, the photochemistry of 7-hydroxy-2-(4-hydroxystyryl)-1-benzopyrylium in water is much less efficient than that of its parent 7,4'-dihydroxyflavylium; however, in the presence of CTAB micelles, intense red colors can be obtained upon irradiation, confirming the usefulness of this family of compounds as photochromic systems.
Original languageUnknown
Pages (from-to)719-727
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2009

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