An inclusion complex of cucurbit[7]uril with benzimidazolyl benzyl viologen exhibits fluorescence and photochromic properties

Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2022 Nov 2;24(42):25930-25936. doi: 10.1039/d2cp03516b.


In order to investigate the photochromic mechanism of photochromic materials based on supramolecular host-guest systems, we designed and synthesized a unique viologen derivative (benzimidazolyl benzyl viologen, guest 1·Cl3), which does not contain oxygen atoms. The binding interaction of guest 13+ with host cucurbit[7]uril (Q[7]) was investigated by various techniques. The obtained supramolecular host-guest complex 13+@Q[7] exhibits interesting fluorescence emission and reversible photochromism. The ESR and XPS experimental data suggest that the photochromic process of the complex 13+@Q[7] comes from the electron transfer from the carbonyl O atoms of the host Q[7] to the bipyridinium N atoms of the guest 13+.