Highly Emissive Excimers by 2D Compression of Conjugated Polymers

TitleHighly Emissive Excimers by 2D Compression of Conjugated Polymers
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsKoo, B, Swager, TM
JournalACS Macro Letters
Pagination889 - 893
Date PublishedJul-07-2017

Interactions between π-conjugated polymers are known to create ground-state aggregates, excimers, and exciplexes. With few exceptions, these species exhibit decreased fluorescence quantum yields relative to the isolated polymers in liquid or solid solutions. Herein, we report a method to assemble emissive conjugated polymer excimers and demonstrate their applicability in the detection of selected solvent vapors. Specifically, poly(phenylene ethynylene)s (PPEs) with amphiphilic side chains are organized in a Langmuir monolayer at the air–water interface. Compression of the monolayer results in the reversible conversion from a face-on organization of the π-system relative to the water to what appears to be an incline-stack conformation. The incline-stack organization creates a bright yellow emissive excimeric state with increases of 28% in relative fluorescence quantum yields to the face-on monolayer conformation. Multilayers can be transferred onto the glass substrate via a Langmuir–Blodgett method with preservation of the excimer emission. These films are metastable and the fluorescence reverts to a cyan color similar to the spectra obtained in solution and spin-cast films after exposure to selected solvent vapors. This behavior has practical utility as a fluorescence-based indicator for selected volatile organic compounds.

Short TitleACS Macro Lett.