Herein, a library of trifluoroethyl substituted aminomaleimide derivatives are reported with small size and enhanced emissions in both solution and solid-state. A di-CH 2 CF 3 substituted aminochloromaleimide exhibits the most efficient dual state emission ( Φ f > 50% in solution and solid-state), with reduced quenching from protic solvents. This is attributed to the reduction of electron density on the maleimide ring and suppressed π-π stacking in the solid-state. This mechanism was explored in-depth by crystallographic analysis, and modelling of the electronic distribution of HOMO-LUMO isosurfaces and NCI plots. Hence, these dual-state dyes overcome the limitations of single-state luminescence and will serve as an important step forward for this rapidly developing nascent field.
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