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Aliphatic Polyesters with White-Light Clusteroluminescence

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-07-07, 11:33 authored by Bo Chu, Haoke Zhang, Kailuo Chen, Bin Liu, Qing-Lei Yu, Cheng-Jian Zhang, Jingzhi Sun, Qing Yang, Xing-Hong Zhang, Ben Zhong Tang
Single-molecule white-light emission (SMWLE) has many advantages in practical applications; however, the fabrication of SMWLE from nonconjugated luminescent polymers, namely, clusteroluminogens (CLgens), is still a big challenge. Herein, the first example of linear nonconjugated polyesters with SMWLE is reported. Twenty-four kinds of nonconjugated aliphatic polyesters with tunable clusteroluminescence (CL) colors and efficiency were synthesized by the copolymerization of six epoxides and four anhydrides. Experimental and calculation results prove that, at the primary structure level, the balance of structural flexibility and rigidity via adjusting the side-chain length significantly enhances the efficiency of CL without wavelength change. However, altering the chemical structures of the monomer from succinic anhydride to trans-maleic anhydride (MA), cis-MA, and citraconic anhydride (CA), secondary structures of these polyesters change from helix to straight and folding sheet accompanied by gradually red-shifted CL from 460 to 570 nm due to the increase in through-space n–π* interactions, as demonstrated by the computational and experimental results. Then, pure SMWLE with CIE coordination (0.30, 0.32) based on overlapped short-wavelength and long-wavelength CL is achieved in CA-based polyesters. This work not only provides further insights into the emission mechanism of CL but also provides a new strategy to manipulate the properties of CL by regulating the hierarchical structures of CLgens.

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