Main content area

From Blue to Green: Fine-Tuning of Photoluminescence and Electrochemiluminescence in Bifunctional Organic Dyes

Rizzo, Fabio, Polo, Federico, Bottaro, Gregorio, Fantacci, Simona, Antonello, Sabrina, Armelao, Lidia, Quici, Silvio, Maran, Flavio
Journal of the American Chemical Society 2017 v.139 no.5 pp. 2060-2069
aniline, cations, dyes, electrochemiluminescence, electrochemistry, energy, fluorenes, photoluminescence, wavelengths
We describe the synthesis, computational analysis, photophysics, electrochemistry and electrochemiluminescence (ECL) of a series of compounds formed of two triphenylamines linked by a fluorene or spirobifluorene bridge. The phenylamine moieties were modified at the para-position of the two external rings by electron-withdrawing or electron-donating substituents. These modifications allowed for fine-tuning of the photoluminescence (PL) and ECL emission from blue to green, with an overall wavelength span of 73 (PL) and 67 (ECL) nm, respectively. For all compounds, we observed a very high PL quantum yield (79–89%) and formation of stable radical ions. The ECL properties were investigated by direct annihilation of the electrogenerated radical anion and radical cation. The radical-ion annihilation process is very efficient and causes an intense greenish-blue ECL emission, easily observable even by naked eye, with quantum yield higher than the standard 9,10-diphenylanthracene. The ECL spectra show one single band that almost matches the PL band. Because the energy of the annihilation reaction is higher than that required to form the singlet excited state, the S-route is considered the favored pathway followed by the ECL process in these molecules. All these features point to this type of molecular system as promising for ECL applications.