Fluorescence–phosphorescence dual emissive carbon nitride quantum dots show 25% white emission efficiency enabling single-component WLEDs†
Developing efficient single-component white light-emitting diodes (WLEDs) is extremely challenging due to the issue of Kasha's rule. Here we report the first demonstration of blue-yellow fluorescence–phosphorescence dual emission from our newly minted single-component white emissive carbon nitride quantum dots (W-CNQDs). The W-CNQDs deliver an overall photoluminescence quantum efficiency of 25%, which is the highest value among white-emitting materials reported to date, based on utilizing both singlet and triplet states. Experimental and theoretical investigations reveal that the carbonyl groups at the rim of the W-CNQDs play a key role in promoting intersystem crossing and inducing intermolecular electronic coupling, affording intensive yellow phosphorescence. Efficient white emission is achieved with a phosphorescence quantum efficiency of 6% under ambient conditions. A WLED is fabricated by integrating W-CNQD phosphors into a UV-LED chip, which shows favorable white light characteristics with CIE coordinates and a CRI of (0.35, 0.39) and 85, respectively, demonstrating good color chromatic stability. This work opens up new opportunities for exploring dual emission mechanisms and designs to facilitate the development of efficient single-component WLEDs.