From Dark to Light to Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET): Polarity-Sensitive Aggregation-Induced Emission (AIE)-Active Tetraphenylethene-Fused BODIPY Dyes with a Very Large Pseudo-Stokes Shift

Sen E., Meral K., Atilgan S.

CHEMISTRY-A EUROPEAN JOURNAL, vol.22, no.2, pp.736-745, 2016 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 22 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1002/chem.201503457
  • Page Numbers: pp.736-745


The work presented herein is devoted to the fabrication of large Stokes shift dyes in both organic and aqueous media by combining dark resonance energy transfer (DRET) and fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) in one donor-acceptor system. In this respect, a series of donor-acceptor architectures of 4,4-difluoro-4-bora-3a, 4a-diaza-s-indacene (BODIPY) dyes substituted by one, two, or three tetraphenylethene (TPE) luminogens were designed and synthesised. The photophysical properties of these three chromophore systems were studied to provide insight into the nature of donor-acceptor interactions in both THF and aqueous media. Because the generation of emissive TPE donor(s) is strongly polarity dependent, due to its aggregation-induced emission (AIE) feature, one might expect the formation of appreciable fluorescence emission intensity with a very large pseudo-Stokes shift in aqueous media when considering FRET process. Interestingly, similar results were also recorded in THF for the chromophore systems, although the TPE fragment(s) of the dyes are non-emissive. The explanation for this photophysical behaviour lies in the DRET. This is the first report on combining two energy-transfer processes, namely, FRET and DRET, in one polarity-sensitive donor-acceptor pair system. The accuracy of the dark-emissive donor property of the TPE luminogen is also presented for the first time as a new feature for AIE phenomena.