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Efficient, Scalable, and Solvent-free Mechanochemical Synthesis of the OLED Material Alq3 (q = 8‑Hydroxyquinolinate)

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journal contribution
posted on 05.12.2012, 00:00 by Xiaohe Ma, Gin Keat Lim, Kenneth D. M. Harris, David C. Apperley, Peter N. Horton, Michael B. Hursthouse, Stuart L. James
The aluminum complex Alq3 (q = 8-hydroxyquinolinate), which has important applications in organic light-emitting diode materials, is shown to be readily synthesized as a pure phase under solvent-free mechanochemical conditions from Al­(OAc)2OH and 8-hydroxyquinoline by ball milling. The initial product of the mechanochemical synthesis is a novel acetic acid solvate of Alq3, and the α polymorph of Alq3 is obtained on subsequent heating/desolvation of this phase. The structure of the mechanochemically prepared acetic acid solvate of Alq3 has been determined directly from powder X-ray diffraction data and is shown to be a different polymorph from the corresponding acetic acid solvate prepared by solution-state crystallization of Alq3 from acetic acid. Significantly, the mechanochemical synthesis of Alq3 is shown to be fully scalable across two orders of magnitude from 0.5 to 50 g scale. The Alq3 sample obtained from the solvent-free mechanochemical synthesis is analytically pure and exhibits identical photoluminescence behavior to that of a sample prepared by the conventional synthetic route.