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  • Received: Sep. 18, 2020

    Accepted: --

    Posted: Jan. 14, 2021

    Published Online: Jan. 14, 2021

    The Author Email: Sun Wenfang (

    DOI: 10.3788/IRLA20201078

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    Wenfang Sun. Nonlinear absorption and optical limiting of platinum(Ⅱ) terpyridine complexes (Invited)[J]. Infrared and Laser Engineering, 2020, 49(12): 20201078

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Infrared and Laser Engineering, Vol. 49, Issue 12, 20201078 (2020)

Nonlinear absorption and optical limiting of platinum(Ⅱ) terpyridine complexes (Invited)

Sun Wenfang

Author Affiliations

  • Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, North Dakota State University, Fargo ND 58108-6050, United States


The reported work in 2003-2019 on the reverse saturable absorption (RSA) or two-photon absorption (TPA) and/or optical limiting (OPL) of platinum(II) terpyridine complexes was summarized in this minireview. Photophysical properties, including the ground-state absorption (GSA), excited-state absorption (ESA), excited-state lifetimes, and the quantum yields of triplet excited-state formation, RSA/OPL at 532 nm for ns laser pulses, TPA characteristics in the near-IR spectral regions, and the structure-property correlations were reviewed. This paper is composed of four sections. First, the current status of OPL materials and devices, the general requirements for reverse saturable absorbers and two-photon absorbing materials, and the different types and characteristics of square-planar platinum(II) complexes were briefly introduced. Then the photophysics and RSA/OPL of six series of Pt(Ⅱ) terpyridine-analogous complexes and the structure-property correlations were discussed. Following it the TPA of five series of Pt(Ⅱ) terpyridine complexes and the impacts of structural variations on the TPA cross sections (σ2) were reviewed. Finally, brief conclusions were drawn based on the reported studies. A general trend discovered was that the charge transfer absorption band(s) and the ESA can be readily tuned by substituents on the acetylide or the terpyridine ligand. Introducing electron-donating substituent to the acetylide or terpyridine ligand or improving the coplanarity between the aromatic substituent and the terpyridine ligand red-shifted the ground-state charge-transfer absorption band(s) at the price of decreasing/quenching the triplet ESA, which consequently reduced the RSA/OPL at 532 nm. Extending the π-conjugation of the terpyridine ligand dramatically improved the σ2 values of the Pt(Ⅱ) terpyridine complexes. Incorporation of electron-withdrawing π-conjugated aromatic substituent restrained the GSA to < 500 nm while keeping a long-lived triplet excited state with broadband ESA in the visible spectral regions and moderately strong TPA in the NIR regions. This approach could provide a solution for developing broadband OPL materials.


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