Tuning of Hyperpolarizability, One- and Two-Photon Absorption of D-A and D-A-A Type Intramolecular Charge Transfer Based Sensors

Solvents play an important role in shaping the intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) properties of π-conjugated molecules, which in turn can affect their one-photon absorption (OPA) and two-photon absorption (TPA) as well as the static (hyper)polarizabilities. Here, we study the effect of solvent and donor-acceptor arrangement on linear and nonlinear optical (NLO) response properties of two novel ICT-based fluorescent sensors, one consisting of hemicyanine and dimethylaniline as electron withdrawing and donating groups (molecule 1), respectively and its boron-dipyrromethene (BODIPY, molecule 2)-fused counterpart (molecule 3). Density functional theoretical (DFT) calculations using long-range corrected CAM-B3LYP and M06-2X functionals, suitable for studying properties of ICT molecules, are employed to calculate the desired properties. The dipole moment (µ) as well as the total first hyperpolarizability (β<sub>total</sub>) of the studied molecules in the gas phase is dominantly dictated by the component in the direction of charge transfer. The ratios of vector component of first hyperpolarizability (β<sub>vec</sub>) to β<sub>total</sub> also reveal unidirectional charge transfer process. The properties of the medium significantly affect the OPA, hyperpolarizability and TPA properties of the studied molecules. Time dependent DFT (TDDFT) calculations suggest interchanging between two lowest excited states of molecule 3 from the gas phase to salvation. The direction of charge polarization and dominant transitions among molecular orbitals involved in the OPA and TPA processes are studied. The results presented are expected to be useful in tuning the NLO response of many ICT-based chromophores, especially those with BODIPY acceptors.<br>