Research on nitrogen-doped non-alternating nanoribbon nonlinear optical materials has progressed

With the development of laser technology, nonlinear optical materials have shown broad application prospects in the fields of optical limiting, all-optical switching, and optical communication. Among them, organic π-conjugated materials have attracted much attention because of their high nonlinear optical coefficient, low nonlinear response threshold, and nonlinear optical properties that are easy to adjust the structure. Linear benzene polyring is a class of classical organic π-conjugated materials, which are widely used in organic optoelectronic devices. With the increase of conjugate length, the chemical stability of such materials deteriorates, and they are easily oxidized or Diels-Alder reaction. At the same time, with the increase of the conjugated system, the degree of intermolecular aggregation increases, and the solubility and its synthesis difficulty increase, which limits the development and application of such materials. 

Recently, Sun Jibin, associate researcher of the Special Imaging Materials and Technology Research Center of the Institute of Physical and Chemical Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chen Huajie’s research group of Professor Chen Huajie of Xiangtan University, and Zeng Weixuan, Ph.D. of Cambridge University, cooperated to construct a class of chemically stable and solubility nitrogen-doped non-alternating nanoribbon molecules (Figure 1) using ketoamine condensation strategy (Figure 1), and applied this class of materials to the field of nonlinear optics, revealing the excellent desaturation absorption performance of nitrogen-doped non-alternating nanoribbon molecules (Figure 2). Among them, the introduction of terminal triptene and lateral triisopropyl silicelene effectively inhibits intermolecular aggregation, significantly improves the solubility of the material, and is the longest reported molecular length soluble nitrogen hybrid non-alternating nanoribbon containing 13-member polycyclic molecules. In addition, the implantation of multiple five-membered rings effectively blocks the global aromatity of linear benzene polyrings, realizes the local aromatity of both ground state and excited state, thereby improving the stability of the π-conjugate system, and makes the third-order nonlinear absorption coefficient of the material (NNNR-2) reach 374cmGW–1, which is significantly higher than that of classical nonlinear optical material C60 (153cmGW–1) under the same test conditions.

Figure 1. Simulation of (a) chemical structure and (b) theoretical structure of nitrogen heteronon-alternating nanoribbon molecules NNNR-1 and NNNR-2 

Figure 2. Nonlinear optical properties of nitrogen hybrid non-alternating nanoribbon molecules NNNR-1 and NNNR-2

The research results are published in Angewandte Chemie International Edition under the title N-Doped Nonalternant Nanoribbons with Excellent Nonlinear Optical Performance. The research work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Hunan Education Foundation, and the Marie Curie Research Program. (Source: Institute of Physical and Chemical Technology, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

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