Molecular crystalline materials with tunable luminescent properties: from polymorphs to multi-component solids
Tuning and controlling the luminescent properties of molecular materials by changing the orientation and arrangement of the fluorophores within a solid has played an important role in realizing multi-color emission. The formation of polymorphs and multi-component molecular solids have attracted considerable interest as new ways of achieving controllable luminescence and other photophysical properties for application in the next generation of photofunctional materials. In this article, recent advances in the synthesis of fluorescent polymorphs and multi-component materials and potential photo-related applications of the resulting materials are described. We first review the methods of preparation of polymorphs with tunable static luminescence, and the switching of the dynamic luminescence between polymorphs for potential sensor applications is also introduced. Attention is then focused on the supramolecular design (making use of hydrogen bonding and halogen bonding interactions) and methods of fabrication of multi-component molecular solids, and their color-tunable fluorescence and phosphorescence together with their stimuli-responsive properties for use as sensors. The use of density functional theory to study intramolecular and intermolecular energy transfer as well as the electronic structures of multi-component molecular solids is also outlined. Finally, we briefly discuss perspectives for the further development of these luminescent molecular solid-state materials.