Two photon absorption (TPA) and photophysical properties of three new symmetrical chromophores with electron accepting phthalimide edge substituents have been studied. The three chromophores contain fluorene, alcoxy-substituted divinyl benzene, and carbazole moieties as central cores, respectively. The femtosecond time-resolved fluorescence upconversion spectroscopy and two photon excited fluorescence technique have been carried out. The effect of solvent polarity on TPA and on photophysics has also been determined. Ultrafast fluorescence dynamics, with decay times ranging from 1 to 13 ps, are revealed in polar solvents. This is attributed to the relaxation of the chromophores to the intramolecular charge transfer state. The chromophore bearing fluorene central core, being of the type A-pi-A, is the most efficient concerning TPA. Strong TPA, with a cross section value as high as 2100 GM at an excitation wavelength of 770 nm is found in acetophenone which is a solvent of intermediate polarity. The TPA spectra were also reproduced using a sum over states three-state model. A study of the TPA induced photobleaching of the fluorene molecule, doped in a solid poly(methyl-methacrylate) film, has shown that this material is very promising for efficient TPA optical data storage
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