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Molecular Engineering of Chromophores to Enable Triplet–Triplet Annihilation Upconversion

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journal contribution
posted on 11.11.2020, 15:34 by Kealan J. Fallon, Emily M. Churchill, Samuel N. Sanders, James Shee, John L. Weber, Rinat Meir, Steffen Jockusch, David R. Reichman, Matthew Y. Sfeir, Daniel N. Congreve, Luis M. Campos
Triplet–triplet annihilation upconversion (TTA-UC) is an unconventional photophysical process that yields high-energy photons from low-energy incident light and offers pathways for innovation across many technologies, including solar energy harvesting, photochemistry, and optogenetics. Within aromatic organic chromophores, TTA-UC is achieved through several consecutive energy conversion events that ultimately fuse two triplet excitons into a singlet exciton. In chromophores where the singlet exciton is roughly isoergic with two triplet excitons, the limiting step is the triplet–triplet annihilation pathway, where the kinetics and yield depend sensitively on the energies of the lowest singlet and triplet excited states. Herein we report up to 40-fold improvements in upconversion quantum yields using molecular engineering to selectively tailor the relative energies of the lowest singlet and triplet excited states, enhancing the yield of triplet–triplet annihilation and promoting radiative decay of the resulting singlet exciton. Using this general and effective strategy, we obtain upconversion yields with red emission that are among the highest reported, with remarkable chemical stability under ambient conditions.