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Paper | Special issue | Vol 103, No. 1, 2021, pp.365-378
Published online, 9th September, 2020
DOI: 10.3987/COM-20-S(K)19
An Alternative Approach to the Development of Near-Infrared Fluorescent Dyes Based on Fluorescein

Akane Katori, Akari Yamagami, Sae Wakabayashi, Kouji Kuramochi, Ayumi Imayoshi, and Kazunori Tsubaki*

*Graduate School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Kyoto Prefectural University, Japan

Abstract

In xanthene dyes the upper aryl moiety is often a benzene ring, but in this work an L-shaped dibenzoxanthene dye (4) was synthesized with a five-membered (benz)imidazole ring as the upper aryl moiety. Although 4 was designed with the π-face of the dibenzoxanthene and the π-plane of the aryl moiety as coplanar, the reactivity of the compound at the triaryl carbon was quite high and easily attacked by solvent, such as methanol. The consequent discoloration is caused not only by the external exposure of the triaryl carbon, but also by the greatly reduced LUMO level and increased reactivity to nucleophilic attack when the π-system of the xanthene ring is expanded. The introduction of the 2,6-dimethylphenyl group was found to be effective to avoid nucleophilic attack by solvent. A compound, labeled 9c, with a 2,6-dimethylphenyl group as the aryl moiety, had sufficient stability to solvent, an emission maximum at 828 nm in DMF, and a fluorescence quantum yield of 8%.