Photon upconversion: from two-photon absorption (TPA) to triplet–triplet annihilation (TTA)
Organic upconversion is a unique process in which low-energy light (usually NIR light) is converted to high-energy light through either the two-photon absorption (TPA) mechanism or the triplet–triplet annihilation (TTA) mechanism. Both TPA upconversion (TPA-UC) and TTA upconversion (TTA-UC) have been actively investigated in recent years due to their intriguing applications in optics, biophotonics, and solar energy utilization. Although they show some similarity (i.e., belonging to the nonlinear two-quantum process and needing focused excitation light), TPA-UC and TTA-UC are very different, such as in mechanism, characteristics involved, molecular design and potential applications. Here, we collectively reviewed these two kinds of upconversion processes and compared their respective characteristics and merits. We also present recent advances made in the areas of TPA- and TTA-UC, the remaining challenges and opportunities, with particular emphasis on molecular engineering of these two active upconversion materials.
- This article is part of the themed collection: PCCP Perspectives