Indexed on: 10 Feb '18Published on: 10 Feb '18Published in: Molecules (Basel, Switzerland)
Materials with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) properties have received increased attention recently due to their potential applications in light-emitting devices, chemo/biosensors and biomedical diagnostics. In general, AIE requires the forced aggregation of the AIEgens induced by the poor solvent or close arrangement of AIEgens covalently attached to polymer chains. Here, we report two coordination-enhanced fluorescent supramolecular complexes featuring hierarchically restricted intramolecular motions via the self-assembly of tetraphenylethylene (TPE)-based tetra-dentate (La) and bidentate (Lb) ligands and the cis-Pd(en)(NO₃)₂ (en = ethylenediamine) unit. While the free ligands are non-emissive in dilute solution and show typical AIE properties in both mixed solvent system and the solid state, the self-assembled complexes maintain their fluorescent nature in the solution state. In particular, the Pd₄(La)₂ complex shows remarkable 6-fold fluorescent enhancement over La in dilute solution. We anticipate that these kinds of coordination-enhanced emissive supramolecules will find applications in biomedical sensing or labeling.