Clusterization-triggered emission: Uncommon luminescence from common materials

Haoke Zhang, Zheng Zhao, Paul R. McGonigal, Ruquan Ye, Shunjie Liu, Jacky W.Y. Lam, Ryan T.K. Kwok, Wang Zhang Yuan, Jianping Xie, Andrey L. Rogach, Ben Zhong Tang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

π-Conjugated chromophores have been investigated for many years and successful theoretical models have been developed to explain their photophysical properties. However, materials have appeared sporadically that do not fit within these existing models. Some of these materials possess entirely nonconjugated structures based on saturated C–C, C–O or C–N bonds, but their aggregates or solid-state forms show bright visible emission. This phenomenon is termed as clusterization-triggered emission (CTE) and the materials possessing the property are labeled clusteroluminogens. In this review, we provide a brief summary of the recent development of clusteroluminogens. The materials are classified into three categories: polymers (natural and synthetic polymers), small molecules (with and without aromatic rings) and metal clusters. Possible luminescence mechanisms underpinning the different categories of clusteroluminogens are analyzed individually. Finally, we put forward a comprehensive theory of the through-space conjugation (TSC) for these chromophores. Based on the CTE effect and TSC theory, various applications have been envisioned, for example in the areas of process monitoring, structural visualization, sensors, and probes. It is anticipated that this new research direction will bring many breakthroughs, not only in the theoretical areas, but also in these advanced applications of light-emitting materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)275-292
Number of pages18
JournalMaterials Today
Volume32
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are grateful for financial support from the National Science Foundation of China (21788102), the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong (16308016, CityU11305617, C6009-17G and A-HKUST 605/16), the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong (AoE/P-03/08 and AoE/P-02/12), the Innovation and Technology Commission of Hong Kong (ITC-CNERC14SC01 and ITS/254/17) and the Science and Technology Plan of Shenzhen (JCYJ20160229205601482, JCYJ20170818104224667 and JCY20170818113602462).

Funding Information:
We are grateful for financial support from the National Science Foundation of China ( 21788102 ), the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong ( 16308016 , CityU11305617 , C6009-17G and A-HKUST 605/16 ), the University Grants Committee of Hong Kong ( AoE/P-03/08 and AoE/P-02/12 ), the Innovation and Technology Commission of Hong Kong ( ITC-CNERC14SC01 and ITS/254/17 ) and the Science and Technology Plan of Shenzhen ( JCYJ20160229205601482 , JCYJ20170818104224667 and JCY20170818113602462 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd

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