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Summary of "Materials Horizons" by Academician Tang Benzhong and Professor Zhang Xinghong of Zhejiang University: Polymerization-Induced Emission
2020-01-06 Source: Polymer Technology

In 2001, the research group of Academician Tang Benzhong of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and South China University of Technology first discovered and proposed the concept of Aggregation-Induced Emission (AIE), which subverted the traditional understanding. Later, related research and applications have flourished. Developed a new AIE material with extremely wide and important application value. As an important development direction of aggregation-inducing luminescent materials, non-conjugated luminescent polymers (NCLPs) have gradually received extensive attention from many researchers in recent years.

Recently, Academician Tang Benzhong (corresponding author) of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Professor Zhang Xinghong (corresponding author) of Zhejiang University, Dr. Liu Bin (first author) of North University of China, and Dr. Zhang Haoke (co-author) of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology summarized on Materials Horizons In recent years, the research progress of non-conjugated fluorescent polymers has discussed the effect of polymerization on the luminous properties of the obtained polymer materials, and a polymerization-induced emission (PIE) has been summarized.

Figure 1. Typical polymerization-inducing emitting group.

Based on the reported structures of non-conjugated fluorescent polymers, the authors classified them into two types: benzene rings and benzene rings. For non-conjugated fluorescent polymers containing benzene rings, the effects of polymer structure on the fluorescence properties are summarized from three aspects of the polymer's topological structure, aggregated state structure and molecular weight; for non-conjugated fluorescent polymerization without benzene rings The main reason is to discuss the direct causes of the induced clusters. Combined with the types of heteroatom groups (including tertiary amine structure, cyano structure, carbonyl structure, sulfoxide, sulfone, sulfamide, ether) that induce the polymer to emit light, From the perspectives of steric hindrance, hydrogen bonding effect, coordination effect, etc., the light-emitting mechanism of such non-conjugated fluorescent polymers is summarized. In general, electron delocalization is generated through the spatial conjugation of heteroatoms or benzene rings, which realizes n-π * and π–π * transitions of electrons and induces cluster luminescence. The characteristics of polymerization-induced luminescence are summarized, and further consideration of the "cluster" (concept, formation, size, distribution, etc.) in such polymers is brought forward, and the difficulties and possible directions for the study of the structure and mechanism of such "cluster" are proposed.

Figure 2. Schematic of polymerization-induced luminescence. 连锁聚合提供侧基PIEgens; 逐步聚合提供主链PIEgens或者新的PIEgens; (B)具有典型空间共轭PIEgens的详细PIE示意图。 (A) Polymerization of PIE polymers: chain polymerization provides side groups PIEgens; stepwise polymerization provides main chain PIEgens or new PIEgens; (B) detailed PIE schematic with typical spatially conjugated PIEgens.

The proposed polymerization-induced luminescence characteristics are as follows:

1) The fluorescence generation and intensity of non-conjugated fluorescent polymers depend on the degree of polymerization, and are also the basic conditions for cluster generation;

2) The diversity of polymer structure (configuration, conformation, topological structure, molecular weight, molecular weight distribution, and aggregation state, etc.) gives the diversity of fluorescence emission.

Therefore, based on new polymerization methods and new polymers that have been emerging in the past 20 years, polymerization-induced luminescence is expected to further expand the boundaries of AIE and extend the application of AIE concepts to general polymer materials.

Article link: http://doi.org/10.1039/C9MH01909J

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