Design of organic molecules with large two-photon absorption cross sections

Marius Albota, David Beljonne, Jean Luc Brédas, Jeffrey E. Ehrlich, Jia Ying Fu, Ahmed A. Heikal, Samuel E. Hess, Thierry Kogej, Michael D. Levin, Seth R. Marder, Dianne McCord-Maughon, Joseph W. Perry, Harald Röckel, Mariacristina Rumi, Girija Subramaniam, Watt W. Webb, Xiang Li Wu, Chris Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2237 Scopus citations


A strategy for the design of molecules with large two-photon absorption cross sections, δ, was developed, on the basis of the concept that symmetric charge transfer, from the ends of a conjugated system to the middle, or vice versa, upon excitation is correlated to enhanced values of δ. Synthesized bis(styryl)benzene derivatives with donor-π-donor, donor-acceptor-donor, and acceptor-donor-acceptor structural motifs exhibit exceptionally large values of δ, up to about 400 times that of trans-stilbene. Quantum chemical calculations performed on these molecules indicate that substantial symmetric charge redistribution occurs upon excitation and provide δ values in good agreement with experimental values. The combination of large δ and high fluorescence quantum yield or triplet yield exhibited by molecules developed here offers potential for unprecedented brightness in two-photon fluorescent imaging or enhanced photosensitivity in two-photon sensitization, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1653-1656
Number of pages4
Issue number5383
StatePublished - Sep 11 1998


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