The Malleable Excited States of Benzothiadiazole Dyes and Investigation of their Potential for Photochemical Control

A strategy to control the efficiency of a photocleavage reaction based on changing the nature of the excited state is presented. A novel class of photoactive compounds has been synthesized by combining the classical o-nitrobenzyl scaffold with an environmentally sensitive dye, 4-amino-nitrobenzothiazole. Irradiation in a polar solvent lead to an excited state that is inoperative for photochemistry whereas excitation in a nonpolar solvent lead to an excited state that is photochemically active. A photochemical degradation appears to be the preferred process in contrast to the intended photocleavage process.