The dinuclear copper(I) complexes 1 and 2 were prepared by reacting PNP ligands ArN(PPh2)2, (Ar = 2,6-Me2C6H3L1) with CuCl and CuBr. By altering the position of the methyl substituents from ortho to meta (Ar = 3,5-Me2C6H3L2), trinuclear copper(I) complexes 3 and 4 were obtained, while the methyl substituent at the para position (Ar = 4-MeC6H4L3) led to the tetranuclear copper(I) complexes 5 and 6. Single crystal X-ray studies show the different Cu···Cu interactions in complexes 16 ranging from 2.650 to 2.935 Å. The copper(I) complexes 36 were found to exhibit mechanochromic as well as thermochromic luminescent behavior presumably stemming from a decrease in their Cu···Cu distances.

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