Organic room-temperature phosphorescence from halogen-bonded organic frameworks: hidden electronic effects in rigidified chromophores

J. Zhou, L. Stojanović, A. A. Berezin, T. Battisti, A. Gill, B. M. Kariuki, D. Bonifazi, R. C. Otero, M. R. Wasielewski, Y. L. Wu.

Chem. Sci., 2021, 12, 767-773.

DOI: 10.1039/D0SC04646A


Development of purely organic materials displaying room-temperature phosphorescence (RTP) will expand the toolbox of inorganic phosphors for imaging, sensing or display applications. While molecular solids were found to suppress non-radiative energy dissipation and make the RTP process kinetically favourable, such an effect should be enhanced by the presence of multivalent directional non-covalent interactions. Here we report phosphorescence of a series of fast triplet-forming tetraethyl naphthalene-1,4,5,8-tetracarboxylates. Various numbers of bromo substituents were introduced to modulate intermolecular halogen-bonding interactions. Bright RTP with quantum yields up to 20% was observed when the molecule is surrounded by a Br⋯O halogen-bonded network. Spectroscopic and computational analyses revealed that judicious heavy-atom positioning suppresses non-radiative relaxation and enhances intersystem crossing at the same time. The latter effect was found to be facilitated by the orbital angular momentum change, in addition to the conventional heavy-atom effect. Our results suggest the potential of multivalent non-covalent interactions for excited-state conformation and electronic control.

Comments are closed.