Synthesis of fluorescent chalcones, photophysical properties, quantitative structure-activity relationship and their biological application

Marco Mellado, Rafaela Sariego-Kluge, Franco Valdés-Navarro, César González, Rodrigo Sánchez-González, Nancy Pizarro, Joan Villena, Carlos Jara-Gutierrez, Claudio Cordova, Manuel A. Bravo, Luis F. Aguilar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The development of fluorescent pigments is an area of interest in several research fields due to their high sensitivity. In the current study-eight known and three new N,N-dimethylamino-chalcones (12a-k) were synthesized with good yields using the Claisen-Schmidt reaction. For each molecular system, the photophysical properties, including the maximum absorption wavelength (λAbsorption), molar absorption coefficient (ε), maximum excitation wavelength (λExcitation), maximum emission wavelength (λEmission), Stokes Shift (Δλ), fluorescence quantum yield (Φfl), fluorescence lifetime (τfl), radiative and non-radiative rate constants (kR and kNR, respectively) were evaluated. Variations in each of these properties were analyzed depending on the substituents present on each compound. To relate the chemical structures of the synthesized compounds to their photophysical properties, Hansch analysis (2D-QSPR) was applied. As a result of Hansch analysis, we found different photophysical properties related to molecular orbitals and the energy of their derivatives (Highest Occupied Molecular Orbital-HOMO, Lowest Unoccupied Molecular Orbital-LUMO, Difference between LUMO-HOMO-ΔLH, Chemical potential-µ, Hardness-η, Softness-S, and electrophilic global index-ω) as well as to the atomic charges on atoms C5, Cα, Cβ, and CO. The application of this type of analysis has made it possible to understand and subsequently design new molecules with defined photophysical properties. Finally, the compounds were use as fluorescent pigment to get living cell imaging on breast cancer cells, obtaining the compound 12a as promissory alternative.

Original languageEnglish
Article number122332
JournalSpectrochimica Acta - Part A: Molecular and Biomolecular Spectroscopy
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2023


  • Absorption properties
  • Chalcone
  • Emission properties
  • Living cell imaging
  • Quantitative Structure-Property Relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Spectroscopy


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