Fine-tuning of Nonlinear Optical Contrasts of Hexaphyrin-based Molecular Switches using Inverse Design

Eline Desmedt, Tatiana Marianne Woller, Johannes Teunissen, Freija De Vleeschouwer, Mercedes Alonso Giner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
43 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In the search for new nonlinear optical (NLO) switching devices, expanded porphyrins have emerged as ideal candidates thanks to their tunable chemical and photophysical properties. Introducing meso-substituents to these macrocycles is a successful strategy to enhance the NLO contrasts. Despite its potential, the influence of meso-substitution on their structural and geometrical properties has been scarcely investigated. In this work, we pursue to grasp the underlying pivotal concepts for the fine-tuning of the NLO contrasts of hexaphyrin-based molecular switches, with a particular focus on the first hyperpolarizability related to the hyper-Rayleigh scattering (βHRS). Building further on these concepts, we also aim to develop a rational design protocol. Starting from the (un)substituted hexaphyrins with various π-conjugation topologies and redox states, structure-property relationships are established linking aromaticity, photophysical properties and βHRS responses. Ultimately, inverse molecular design using the best-first search algorithm is applied on the most favorable switches with the aim to further explore the combinatorial chemical compound space of meso-substituted hexaphyrins in search of high-contrast NLO switches. Two definitions of the figure-of-merit of the switch performance were used as target objectives in the optimization problem. Several meso-substitution patterns and their underlying characteristics are identified, uncovering molecular symmetry and the electronic nature of the substituents as the key players for fine-tuning the βHRS values and NLO contrasts of hexaphyrin-based switches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number786036
Number of pages21
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Volume9
Issue number1014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2021

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