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Synthesis, Properties and Applications of Dicyanomethylenedihydrofuran (DCDHF) Single Molecule Fluorophores
R. Twieg, H. Wang, Z. Lu, S.Y. Kim, S. Lord, S. Nishimura, P.J. Schuck, K.A. Willets and W.E. Moerne

We describe recent progress on studies involving the class of DCDHF chromophores. While originally developed for electrooptic and photorefractive applications, this chromophore class also includes members with valuable single-molecule and two-photon fluorescence properties. A wide range of structures of DCDHF chromophores has been prepared with different combinations of p-conjugation units and functional sites. A particularly interesting and useful property of these fluorophores is their environmental sensitivity, especially the change in fluorescence quantum yield as a function of local viscosity. We are examining the mechanistic origins of the fluorescence activity of these dyes with the expectation that further tuning and optimization of desirable physical properties will result.

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