Combination of aggregation-induced emission and clusterization-triggered emission in mesoporous silica nanoparticles for the construction of an efficient artificial light-harvesting system†
New strategies that can simultaneously overcome the aggregation-caused quenching and enhance the energy-transfer efficiency are still in urgent need. In this study, a superior artificial light-harvesting system (ALHS) with synergetic aggregation-induced emission (AIE) and clusterization-triggered emission (CTE) effects was successfully constructed in an aqueous environment based on the self-assembly of fluorescent mesoporous silica nanoparticles (MSNs) and Rhodamine-B (RB). The AIE effect was provided by the encapsulated fluorescent gemini surfactant CTPE–C6–CTPE, while the CTE effect was provided by the ethanol-induced uncommon clusteroluminogens. By properly tuning the concentration of CTPE–C6–CTPE, shape-controlled fluorescent MSNs can be facilely prepared, producing spherical MSNs (Ac-100-M) with fascinating fluorescence properties, pH-sensitivity and reversible temperature-sensitive properties. More importantly, multicolor emission can be realized by simply adjusting the concentration of RB, achieving the bright white light emission with a CIE coordinate of (0.33, 0.34) and a fluorescence quantum yield as high as 63.25%. The developed fluorescent MSNs enrich the family of ALHS and provide important insights into the construction of highly efficient multicolored materials for various applications.