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A Nonconjugated Radical Polymer with Stable Red Luminescence in Solid State

submitted on 07.09.2020, 04:16 and posted on 07.09.2020, 13:07 by Zhaoyu Wang, Xinhui Zou, Yi Xie, Haoke Zhang, lianrui hu, Christopher C. S. Chan, Ruoyao Zhang, Jing Guo, Ryan Tsz Kin Kwok, Jacky W. Y. Lam, ian duncan williams, Zebing Zeng, Kam Sing Wong, c. david sherrill, Ruquan Ye, Ben Zhong Tang

Luminescent organic radicals have attracted much attention due to its distinctive open-shell structure and all-in-one properties on optoelectronics, electronics, and magnetics. However, organic radicals are usually instable and only very limited stable structures with π-radicals can exhibit luminescent property in the isolated state, most of which originate from the family of triphenylmethyl derivatives. Here, we report an unusual radical luminescence phenomenon that nonconjugated radical polymer can readily emits red luminescence at ~635 nm in the solid state. A traditional luminescence quencher, 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine 1-oxyl (TEMPO), was turned into a red chromophore when grafted onto a polymer backbone. Experimental data confirms the emission is associated with the nitroxide radicals and is also affected by the packing of polymer. As a proof of concept, a biomedical application in intracellular ascorbic acid visualization is demonstrated. This work discloses a novel class of luminescent radicals and provides a distinctive and simple pathway for stable radical luminescence.


the National Science Foundation of China (21788102)

the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (16308016, C6009-17G, and AHKUST 605/16), the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong (AoE/P-03/08 and AoE/P- 02/12), the Innovation and Technology Commission (ITC-CNERC14SC01 and ITS/254/17), and the Science and Technology Plan of Shenzhen (JCYJ20160229205601482 and JCY20170818113602462).


Email Address of Submitting Author


The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology


Hong Kong

ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no competing interests.

Version Notes

This is the first version of this work.