Preparation of a white-light-emitting fluorescent supramolecular polymer gel with a single chromophore and use of the gel to fabricate a protected quick response code
We report here a novel yet facile approach to prepare white-light-emitting fluorescent polymeric materials resulting from the aggregation of a single fluorescent chromophore. This aggregation resulted from the energetically favorable self-assembly of the polymer through intermolecular quadruple hydrogen bonding. This advanced material was shown to be an ideal candidate for constructing intelligent information display/storage devices. A protected quick response code was fabricated by using this white-light-emitting fluorescent supramolecular gel, which was shown to hide the information under natural light yet to display it under UV light. Therefore, the code was protected and only readable under a specific condition. Furthermore, due to the dynamic nature of hydrogen bonds, the supramolecular polymer gel and the resulting quick response code showed self-healing abilities, which is crucial for their applications. The information of an intentionally damaged QR code was incomplete and could not be read out under UV light irradiation, but we were able to mend the code, based on the interfacial self-assembly of the gels through multiple hydrogen bonding, and then recover the protected information.