Abstract— As models for novel fluorescent probes, we have synthesized three isomeric hydroxystilbazole systems (4′‐hydroxy‐substituted 2‐, 3‐, and 4‐stiIbazoles), examined their photocyclization‐oxi‐dation to four hydroxyazaphenanthrene systems, and made a preliminary study of their absorption and fluorescence spectra. All three stilbazoles can be prepared easily by addition of the isomeric picoline anions to 4‐methoxybenzaldehyde, followed by dehydration and deprotection. Photocyclization proceeds efficiently, furnishing a single product isomer from each of the 2‐ and 4‐stilbazole systems, and two isomeric azaphenanthrenes from the 3‐stilbazole. The stilbazoles all have intense UV absorbance bands whose maxima depend upon solvent and pH; all three isomers have relatively similar spectra under neutral conditions and all three show a large red shift in base; in acid, however, the 2‐and 4‐stilbazole isomers show a greater red shift than the 3‐stilbazole. The fluorescence of the stilbazoles is also solvent dependent, shifting to the red in more polar medium; red shifts are also observed in acid and base, but in acid, the 3‐stilbazole shows a larger shift. The azaphenanthrene photocyclization products show absorbance spectra typical for quinolines and isoquinolines; their absorptivities are less than the stilbazoles, but their fluorescence is more intense. In general, the benzoquinolines have longer wavelength but weaker fluorescence than the benzoisoquinolines. Also, those isomers in which the resonance effects of the hydroxy and nitrogen groups can reinforce one another show longer wavelength emissions of greater intensity. All seven systems show dual fluorescence in water under neutral conditions, suggesting the emission from both non‐ionized and ionized species in the excited state. In one case, the benzoisoquinoline system derived from 4′‐hydroxy‐4‐stilbazole, an emission at 640 nm, observed in water over a wide pH range, is ascribed to a zwitterionic phototautomer. These stilbazoles, benzoquinolines and benzoisoquinolines may prove to be useful spectroscopic probes.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||14|
|Journal||Photochemistry and Photobiology|
|State||Published - Apr 1988|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry