A novel highly efficient nanostructured organosilicon luminophore with unusually fast photoluminescence†
Synthesis and theoretical and experimental investigations of a novel nanostructured organosilicon luminophore (NOL) containing six 2,2′-bithienyl donor units connected via silicon atoms to a 1,4-bis(5-phenylthienyl-2-yl)-benzene acceptor unit with efficient intramolecular Förster resonance energy transfer are reported. The NOL shows a unique combination of optical properties: a high photoluminescence (PL) quantum yield of up to 91%, a fast PL decay time of down to 800 ps, a large pseudo-Stokes shift of 101 nm and a huge molar extinction coefficient of 1.4 × 105 M−1 cm−1. These peculiarities caused by the specific arrangement of the donor and acceptor fragments at the nanoscale distance within the NOL were correlated with the molecular structure of the NOL using theoretical calculations, which for the first time allowed successful prediction of the oscillator strength, PL decay time and intramolecular energy transfer efficiency. A comparison of the photophysical properties of the NOL with the standard laser dye POPOP in THF and toluene solutions revealed its huge application potential in organic photonics and high energy physics.