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Issue 12, 2015
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Synergistic photoluminescence enhancement in conjugated polymer-di-ureasil organic–inorganic composites

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Abstract

Poly(fluorene) conjugated polyelectrolyte (CPE)-di-ureasil organic–inorganic composites have been prepared using a versatile sol–gel processing method, which enables selective localisation of the CPE within the di-ureasil matrix. Introduction of the CPE during the sol–gel reaction leads to a homogeneous distribution of the CPE throughout the di-ureasil, whereas a post-synthesis solvent permeation route leads to the formation of a confined layer of the CPE at the di-ureasil surface. The CPE and the di-ureasil both function as photoactive components, contributing directly to, and enhancing the optical properties of their composite material. The bright blue photoluminescence exhibited by CPE-di-ureasils is reminiscent of the parent CPE; however the distinct contribution of the di-ureasil to the steady-state emission profile is also apparent. This is accompanied by a dramatic increase in the photoluminescence quantum yield to >50%, which is a direct consequence of the synergy between the two components. Picosecond time-correlated single photon counting measurements reveal that the di-ureasil effectively isolates the CPE chains, leading to emissive trap sites which have a high radiative probability. Moreover, intimate mixing of the CPE and the di-ureasil, coupled with their strong spectral overlap, results in efficient excitation energy transfer from the di-ureasil to these emissive traps. Given the simple, solution-based fabrication method and the structural tunability of the two components, this approach presents an efficient route to highly desirable CPE-hybrid materials whose optoelectronic properties may be enhanced and tailored for a targeted application.

Graphical abstract: Synergistic photoluminescence enhancement in conjugated polymer-di-ureasil organic–inorganic composites

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
04 Jul 2015
Accepted
17 Sep 2015
First published
17 Sep 2015

This article is Open Access
All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

Chem. Sci., 2015,6, 7227-7237
Article type
Edge Article
Author version available

Synergistic photoluminescence enhancement in conjugated polymer-di-ureasil organic–inorganic composites

N. Willis-Fox, A. Marques, J. Arlt, U. Scherf, L. D. Carlos, H. D. Burrows and R. C. Evans, Chem. Sci., 2015, 6, 7227 DOI: 10.1039/C5SC02409A

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