Direct triplet sensitization of oligothiophene by quantum dots†
Effective sensitization of triplet states is essential to many applications, including triplet–triplet annihilation based photon upconversion schemes. This work demonstrates successful triplet sensitization of a CdSe quantum dot (QD)–bound oligothiophene carboxylic acid (T6). Transient absorption spectroscopy provides direct evidence of Dexter-type triplet energy transfer from the QD to the acceptor without populating the singlet excited state or charge transfer intermediates. Analysis of T6 concentration dependent triplet formation kinetics shows that the intrinsic triplet energy transfer rate in 1 : 1 QD–T6 complexes is 0.077 ns−1 and the apparent transfer rate and efficiency can be improved by increasing the acceptor binding strength. This work demonstrates a new class of triplet acceptor molecules for QD-based upconversion systems that are more stable and tunable than the extensively studied polyacenes.