Materials Chemistry

Thermally activated and aggregation-regulated excitonic coupling enable emissive high-lying triplet excitons



Room temperature phosphorescence (RTP) originating from higher-lying triplet excitons remains a rather rarely documented occurrence for purely organic molecular systems. Here, we report two naphthalene-based RTP luminophores whose phosphorescence emission is enabled by radiative decay of high-lying triplet excitons. In contrast, upon cooling the dominant phosphorescence originates from the lowest-lying triplet excited state, which is manifested by a red-shifted emission. Photophysical and theoretical studies reveal that the unusual RTP results from thermally activated excitonic coupling between different conformations of the compounds. Aggregation-regulated excitonic coupling is observed when increasing the doping concentration of the emitters in poly(methylmethacrylate) (PMMA). Further, the RTP quantum efficiency improves more than 80-fold in 1,3-bis(N-carbazolyl)benzene (mCP) compared to that in PMMA. This design principle offers important insight into triplet excited state dynamics and has been exploited in afterglow-indicating temperature sensing.


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Supplementary material

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