Exploiting lanthanide luminescence in supramolecular assemblies
Lanthanide ions, due to their unique photo-physical characteristics, have attracted considerable attention in recent years. Their long lifetimes, sharp, well-defined emission bands, and designable environmental sensitivity make them ideal for integration into switchable supramolecular assemblies where emission can report on local conformation and/or coupled energy levels (redox state). The immobilisation of lanthanide containing constructs on interfaces facilitates device integration, the fabrication of advanced sensory and molecular electronic platforms and presents a means by which conformational dynamics within molecular assemblies can be analysed. In this feature article we discuss the current and potential applications for lanthanide luminescence in supramolecular, switchable and surface bound architectures.