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Issue 26, 2018
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White-light emission from a single organic compound with unique self-folded conformation and multistimuli responsiveness

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Abstract

White-light emitting organic materials attract broad attention which are ascribed to their potential for applications in lighting devices and display media. Most reported organic white-light emitters rely on the combination of several components that emit different colors of light (red/green/blue or orange/blue), which may cause problems to stability, reproducibility and device fabrication. By contrast, white-light emission from single-molecule systems offers opportunities to overcome these disadvantages, meanwhile engendering white-light with high quality. Nevertheless, limited cases of white-light emission at the molecular scale reported principally concentrate on organic solvents. Herein, we designed and synthesized new bi-functional organic molecules with a symmetric donor–acceptor–donor (D–A–D) type structure with the aim to construct a single-molecule white-light emitting system in aqueous solution. Further experiments and calculations demonstrate the possibility of stacking between the pyridinium-naphthalene (PN) core and coumarin groups in the designed molecules, ascribed to hydrophobic effects, π–π stacking and donor–acceptor interactions, which could dramatically enhance the intramolecular charge transfer (ICT) efficiency along with remarkable charge transfer (CT) emission. Based on this, multicolor photoluminescence including white-light can be finely tuned in various modes including excitation wavelength, solvent polarity, temperature, and host–guest interactions. A white-light emitting (WLE) hydrogel was also facilely prepared through the dispersion of one of the compounds in a commercial agarose gelator. This innovative study helps enrich the strategies to construct single-molecule organic white-light emitting materials in aqueous medium using the self-folding behavior.

Graphical abstract: White-light emission from a single organic compound with unique self-folded conformation and multistimuli responsiveness

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Publication details

The article was received on 26 Apr 2018, accepted on 21 May 2018 and first published on 21 May 2018


Article type: Edge Article
DOI: 10.1039/C8SC01915K
Chem. Sci., 2018,9, 5709-5715
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
    All publication charges for this article have been paid for by the Royal Society of Chemistry

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    White-light emission from a single organic compound with unique self-folded conformation and multistimuli responsiveness

    D. Li, W. Hu, J. Wang, Q. Zhang, X. Cao, X. Ma and H. Tian, Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 5709
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SC01915K

    This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported Licence. Material from this article can be used in other publications provided that the correct acknowledgement is given with the reproduced material and it is not used for commercial purposes.

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