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The “Tethered Solvent” Effect ‐ H‐Bonding‐Controlled Thermo‐Halochromism of a Push‐Pull Azo Chromophore via its Secondary Amidoalkyl Acrylamide Side Chain

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The fascinating field of thermo-halochromism of azo chromophores still astounds with unexplored facets nourished by the intricate relationship between molecular structure variations and their spectroscopic signatures. In this respect, we investigated the thermally dependent absorption behaviour of acrylamide derivatives of  o -methyl red, characterised by two secondary amide linkages with hydrogen bonding-active protons in the pendant alkyl substituent. The systems were studied by a combination of UV-vis, derivative, and difference, as well as 2D-NMR (Nuclear Overhauser Effect Spectroscopy, NOESY) spectroscopy. These experiments show that the thermo-halochromism is specifically influenced by hydrogen bonding interaction of the secondary amidoalkyl acrylamide side chain with the azobenzene core in dependence of the spacer length. Apparently, the substituent acts like a solvent, which is directly tethered to the chromophore and where the tether length determines the interaction by conformational freedom. We refer to this novel phenomenon as “H-bonding-controlled thermo-halochromism”.

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