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Heterophenoquinones: Tuning Optoelectronics and Electrochromicity

We report the synthesis and optoelectronic properties of 16 thiophene-based heterophenoquinones. These compounds were accessed in a convergent and modular approach, allowing for their efficient synthesis. Tuning of the optical band gap was achieved through π-extension by annulation of a benzene or tropone moiety to the thiophene, oxidation, change of the heteroatom or by attachment of a donor substituent to the thiophene core. The resulting compounds display intense colors covering the entire visible spectrum. We identified structure - property relationships and their impact on the HOMO and LUMO levels. Additionally, these materials change color upon reduction and according to in situ ultraviolet-visible-near infrared (UV-vis-NIR) and electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectro-electrochemistry, they are promising electrochromes with cathodic color changes. Seven different electrochromic devices were constructed which all displayed a change in colour upon reduction, demonstrating the potential of these new dyes in e.g. tintable glass.

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