To develop novel nonlinear dyes for photonic applications, we synthesized a series of transition metal-containing phenylacetylene oligomers and polymers. The optical properties of these compounds were measured by UV/Vis, fluorescence, and flash photolysis experiments. As the number of oligomer units increased, the transition energies decreased. A solvatochromism experiment suggested the fluorescing state was different from the absorbing state. As a group, the spectra of the polymeric versions of these complexes were red shifted from the spectra of the oligomers. The polymeric complexes had less clear trends relating the number of oligomer units to transition energies. A comparison of a low molecular weight and a high molecular weight polymer showed the degree of polymerization caused spectroscopic shifts comparable to the number of phenylacetylene units in the monomer unit.
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