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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Apr 15;131(14):5084-93. doi: 10.1021/ja807394f.

Modulated conjugation as a means of improving the intrinsic hyperpolarizability.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Leuven, Celestijnenlaan 200D, B-3001 Leuven, Belgium.


A new strategy for optimizing the first hyperpolarizability based on the concept of a modulated conjugated path in linear molecules is investigated. A series of seven novel chromophores with different types of conjugated paths were synthesized and characterized. Hyper-Rayleigh scattering experiments confirmed that modulated conjugation paths that include benzene, thiophene, and/or thiazole rings in combination with azo and/or ethenyl linkages between dihydroxyethylamino donor groups and various acceptor groups result in enhanced intrinsic hyperpolarizabilities that exceed the long-standing apparent limit for two of the chromophores. The experimental results are analyzed and interpreted in the context of quantum limits, which show that conjugation modulation of the bridge in donor/acceptor molecules simultaneously optimizes the transition moments and the energy-level spacing.

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