Controlling aggregation-induced emission by supramolecular interactions and colloidal stability in ionic emitters for light-emitting electrochemical cells

Alba Sanz-Velasco, Olivia Amargós-Reyes, Aya Kähäri, Sophia Lipinski, Luca M. Cavinato, Rubén D. Costa, Mauri A. Kostiainen, Eduardo Anaya-Plaza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Chromophores face applicability limitations due to their natural tendency to aggregate, with a subsequent deactivation of their emission features. Hence, there has been a fast development of aggregation induced emission (AIE) emitters, in which non-radiative motional deactivation is inhibited. However, a fine control of their colloidal properties governing the emitting performance is fundamental for their application in thin film optoelectronics. In addition, ion-based lighting devices, such as light emitting electrochemical cells (LECs), requires the design of ionic AIE emitters, whose structure allows (i) an easy ion polarizability to assist charge injection and (ii) a reversible electrochemical behavior. To date, these fundamental questions have not been addressed. Herein, the hydrophilic/hydrophobic balance of a family of cationic tetraphenyl ethene (TPE) derivatives is finely tuned by chemical design. The hydrophilic yet repulsive effect of pyridinium-based cationic moieties is balanced with hydrophobic variables (long alkyl chains or counterion chemistry), leading to (i) a control between monomeric/aggregate state ruling photoluminescence, (ii) redox behavior, and (iii) enhanced ion conductivity in thin films. This resulted in a LEC enhancement with the first ionic AIE emitters, reaching values of 0.19 lm W−1 at ca. 50 cd m−2. Overall, this design rule will be key to advance ionic active species for optoelectronics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2755-2762
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Science
Volume15
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Jan 2024

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