Thermally Switchable Molecular Upconversion Emission

Massaro, G.; Hernando, J.; Ruiz-Molina, D.; Roscini, R.; Latterini, L.

Chemistry of Materials, 28 , 738–745, (2016)
DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemmater.5b03532

Abstract: In this work a novel strategy is introduced to achieve thermally switchable emission from photon upconversion (UC) systems based on organic dyes. When these molecules were dissolved at low concentrations in phase-change media, a reversible, sharp, and nearly complete interconversion from blue upconverted emission to red luminescence was observed around the solid-to-liquid transition of the system. This result was rationalized in terms of dye aggregation, which selectively occurs in the solid state and dramatically enhances the inter-chromophoric energy transfer processes leading to UC. Notably, this behavior is extendable to different media and dyes, which allows an easy tuning of the switching temperature and emission colors. In addition, with proper selection of the phase-change medium, our strategy permits facile preparation of solid molecular materials showing photon UC at room temperature and even at sub-micromolar dye concentrations. Link To video:

Thermally Switchable Molecular Upconversion Emission
Repetitive UC and phosphorescence emission switching by thermally cycling this sample between 293 and 323 K.