Fluorescence enhancement of trans-4-aminostilbene by N-phenyl substitutions: The "amino conjugation effect"

Jye Shane Yang, Shih Yi Chiou, Kang Ling Liau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

140 Scopus citations


The synthesis, structure, and photochemical behavior of the trans isomers of 4-(N-phenylamino)-stilbene (1c), 4-(N-methyl-N-phenylamino)stilbene (1d), 4-(N,N-diphenylamino)stilbene (1e), and 4-(N-(2,6-dimethylphenyl)amino)stilbene (1f) are reported and compared to that of 4-aminostilbene (1a) and 4-N,N-dimethylaminostilbene (1b). Results for the corresponding 3-styrylpyridine (2) and 2-styrylnaphthalene analogues (3) are also included. The introduction of N-phenyl substituents to 4-aminostilbenes leads to a more planar ground-state geometry about the nitrogen atom, a red shift of the absorption and fluorescence spectra, and a less distorted structure with a larger charge-transfer character for the fluorescent excited state. Consequently, the N-phenyl derivatives 1c-e have low photoisomerization quantum yields and high fluorescence quantum yields at room temperature, in contrast to the behavior of 1a, 1b, and most unconstrained monosubstituted trans-stilbenes. The isomerization of 1c and 1d is a singlet-state process, whereas it is a triplet-state process for 1e, presumably due to a relatively higher singlet-state torsional barrier. The excited-state behavior of 1f resembles 1a and 1b instead of 1c-e as a consequence of the less planar amine geometry and weaker orbital interactions between the N-phenyl and the aminostilbene groups. Such an N-phenyl substituent effect is also found for 2 and 3 and thus appears to be general for stilbenoid systems. The nature of this effect can be described as an "amino conjugation effect".

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2518-2527
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - 20 Mar 2002


Dive into the research topics of 'Fluorescence enhancement of trans-4-aminostilbene by N-phenyl substitutions: The "amino conjugation effect"'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this