- Macchione, M.; Tsemperouli, M.; Goujon, A.; Mallia, A. R.; Sakai, N.; Sugihara, K.; Matile, S. “Mechanosensitive Oligodithienothiophenes: Transmembrane Anion Transport Along Chalcogen-Bonding Cascades” Helv. Chim. Acta 2018, 101, e1800014
The design, synthesis, and evaluation of multifunctional dithieno[3,2‐b;2′,3′‐d]thiophene (DTT) trimers is described. Twisted push‐push‐pull or donor‐donor‐acceptor (DDA) trimers composed of one DTT acceptor and two DTT donors show strong mechanochromism in lipid bilayer membranes. Red shifts in excitation rather than emission and fluorescence recovery with increasing membrane order are consistent with planarization of the twisted, extra‐long mechanophores in the ground state. The complementary pull‐pull‐pull or AAA trimers with deep σ holes all along the scaffold are not mechanochromic in membranes but excel with submicromolar anion transport activity. Anion transport along membrane‐spanning strings of chalcogen‐bond donors is unprecedented and completes previous results on transmembrane cascades that operate with equally unorthodox interactions such as halogen bonds and anion‐π interactions.