Switchable circularly polarized luminescence from a photoacid co-assembled organic nanotube†
Materials with circularly polarized luminescence (CPL) are currently attracting great interest in view of their potential applications. Here, we reported self-assembled organic nanotubes with switchable CPL performance. A photoacid, 8-hydroxy-1,3,6-pyrenetrisulfonate (HPTS), was co-assembled with an amino-terminated dialkyl glutamide (LG or DG) in mixed solvents of DMF and water. The complex of LG (DG)/HPTS self-assembled into nanotube structures in the tested range of mixed solvents and showed CPL emission. Different mixing ratios of DMF to water in the solvent triggered CPL switching between different wavelengths. It was revealed that the switching of CPL resulted from the different emissions of the protonated (ROH) and deprotonated (RO−) forms of HPTS, which could be regulated by the solvent polarity. Interestingly, the addition of an acid or base could also switch the fluorescence of LG (DG)/HPTS co-assemblies and the corresponding CPL, leading to an acidity-regulated CPL switch. Thus, through a simple co-assembly strategy, switchable CPL was realized in the self-assembled organic nanotubes via both solvent polarity and acidity.