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Circularly Polarized Luminescence Active Supramolecular Nanotubes Based on PtII Complexes That Undergo Dynamic Morphological Transformation and Helicity Inversion

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A chiral PtII complex of a terpyridine derivative has been shown to initially form a fibrous self-assembled product and then undergo dynamic transformation to helical tubes (M-type) via helical ribbons (P-type). Interestingly, the two supramolecular structures emitted opposing circularly polarized luminescence (CPL) signals as a result of morphological differences.


Circularly polarized luminescence (CPL) with tunable chirality is currently a challenging issue in the development of supramolecular nanomaterials. We herein report the formation of helical nanoribbons which grow into helical tubes through dynamic helicity inversion. For this, chiral PtII complexes of terpyridine derivatives, namely S-trans-1 and R-trans-1, with respective S- and R-alanine subunits and incorporating trans-double bonds in the alkyl chain were prepared. In DMSO/H2O (5 : 1 v/v), S-trans-1 initially forms a fibrous self-assembled product, which then undergoes dynamic transformation into helical tubes (left-handed or M-type) through helical ribbons (right-handed or P-type). Interestingly, both helical supramolecular architectures are capable of emitting CPL signals. The metastable helical ribbons show CPL signals (g lum=±4.7×10−2) at 570 nm. Meanwhile, the nanotubes, which are the thermodynamic products, show intense CPL signals (g lum=±5.6×10−2) at 610 nm accompanied by helicity inversion. This study provides an efficient way to develop highly dissymmetric CPL nanomaterials by regulating the morphology of metallosupramolecular architectures.

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