Ruthenium-Capped Tripods for Nonlinear Optics

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Chemistry


The nonlinear optical (NLO) properties of organic materials are fascinating and potentially useful in various areas including optical data processing and biological imaging. For example, NLO effects allow the manipulation of laser light beams and may thus form the basis of future all-optical computing devices. Chemistry underpins fundamental NLO research, which has involved a wide variety of compounds, including organotransition metal complexes. Such compounds are intrinsically interesting to study and offer intriguing possibilities for the creation of novel multifunctional materials. We propose to use directed synthetic chemistry to prepare a range of new strongly coloured molecular salts designed to show very large NLO effects. The active molecules in most of these salts have 3D tripodal shapes and contain complexed ruthenium ions which introduce extra potentially useful features. Adding or removing electrons will allow us to reversibly control the optical properties of the dyes we prepare. Perhaps surprisingly, tripodal molecules have been almost completely overlooked in previous NLO studies, so this work will open up an unexplored area of research. The project will involve collaborative studies with a number of leading research groups in Europe, Australia and the USA, allowing us to both measure and understand by computer modelling the optical properties. Our work is driven primarily by scientific curiosity, but the long-term goal is to create new materials which may be useful in future optical data processing and other devices.Keywords describing areas of proposal: Synthetic Coordination Chemistry, Ruthenium Complexes, Nonlinear Optics


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