Highly efficient and very robust blue-excitable yellow phosphors built on multiple-stranded one-dimensional inorganic–organic hybrid chains†
Inorganic–organic hybrid semiconductors are promising candidates for energy-related applications. Here, we have developed a unique class of multiple-stranded one-dimensional (1D) structures as very robust and efficient lighting phosphors. Following a systematic ligand design strategy, these structures are constructed by forming multiple coordination bonds between adjacent copper iodide inorganic building units CumIm (m = 2, 4, 6) (e.g. dimer, tetramer and hexamer clusters) and strong-binding bidentate organic ligands with low LUMO energies which give rise to infinite 1D chains of high stability and low bandgaps. The significantly enhanced thermal/photostability of these multiple-stranded chain structures is largely attributed to the multi-dentate nature and enhanced Cu–N bonding, and their excellent blue excitability is a result of using benzotriazole based ligands with low-lying LUMO energies. These facts are confirmed by Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations. The luminescence mechanism of these compounds is studied by temperature dependent photoluminescence experiments. High internal quantum yields (IQYs) are achieved under blue excitation, marking the highest value reported so far for crystalline inorganic–organic hybrid yellow phosphors. Excellent thermal- and photo-stability, coupled with high luminescence efficiency, make this class of materials promising candidates for use as rare-earth element (REE) free phosphors in energy efficient general lighting devices.