The photophysical properties of two atropisomeric naphthalenophanes (1 and 2) have been studied. Their structure only differs in the relative arrangement, syn (1) or anti (2), of the two aromatic units. The compounds emission is mainly excimeric and is strongly quenched in the presence of oxygen. Comparison of emission intensities obtained from steady state and from decay times provides clear evidence of the formation of ground state charge transfer complexes between oxygen and the naphthalenophanes 1 and 2. The calculated values for the association constants are on the order of 10(3) M(-1) (ethanol, room temperature) for both naphthalenophanes.