Click chemistry for photonic applications: triazole-functionalized platinum(II) acetylides for optical power limiting.
Three different triazole-containing platinum(II) acetylide compounds were synthesized by click chemistry and evaluated for their use in optical power limiting (OPL) applications. The triazole unit was incorporated at three different positions within, or at the end of, the conjugation path of the chromophore. The aim is to explore the possibilities of using click chemistry to prepare dendronized chromophores, and to evaluate how the triazole structure affects the photophysical properties and the optical power limiting abilities of these acetylide compounds. It is shown that the concept of click chemistry can be used to attach branched monomer units to ethynyl-phenyl arms by Huisgen 1,3-dipolar cycloaddition, forming triazole units within the chromophore. Photophysical characterization of these triazole-containing materials shows an absorption maximum within the UV-A region and emission through both fluorescence and phosphorescence. Bright phosphorescence was emitted from argon purged samples, and decay measurements thereof showed triplet lifetimes of up to 100 µs. The results from the photophysical characterization suggest that the triazole does break the conjugation path, and in order to gain maximum optical limiting the triazole needs to be placed at the end of the conjugation. All three investigated triazole-containing platinum(II) acetylides show good optical power limiting at 532 nm (10 ns pulse, f/5 set-up, 2 mm cells). The most efficient compound, with the triazole positioned at the end of the conjugation, reaches a defined clamping level of 2.5 µJ for a sample with a concentration of 50 mM in THF and a linear transmission above 80% at 532 nm. These data can be compared to the OPL properties of Zn-based porphyrins or derivatized thiophenes, reaching clamping levels of 6–15 µJ.