Since the discovery of the aggregation-induced emission (AIE) phenomenon of siloles in 2001, extensive research has been devoted to the synthesis of AIE-active group 14 metalloles and their applications. A large number of new systems have been designed, synthesized, and studied. It has been determined that the restriction of intramolecular rotation is the main cause for AIE, and the effect that the nature of the substituents has on the electronic structures allows one to control the properties of these materials.Siloles hold a number of favourable attributes for application in organic electronics; therefore many applications can be conceived for the siloles and other metalloles. In this mini-review we illustrate recent progress in the development of group 14 metallole-based OLEDs, bio/chemosensors and soft materials.
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