Azadipyrromethenes: from traditional dye chemistry to leading edge applications.
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Azadipyrromethenes were first described over 70 years ago as blue pigments, but now are rapidly emerging as a compound class with highly desirable near infrared photophysical properties. Since the turn of the century several routes to azadipyrromethenes have been developed and numerous post-synthesis derivatizations have allowed for their exploitation in both biological and material sciences. The relative ease of access to specifically designed derivatives is now allowing their use in multiple technological formats from real-time fluorescence imaging, to solar energy materials, to optoelectronic devices and many more. In this review we have highlighted the synthetic component of this story as it is the ability to generate the designer azadipyrromethene that opens the door to exciting applications.