Insight into the Role of Oxidation in the Thermally Induced Green Band in Fluorene-Based Systems


  • The FIRB project Micropolys (Italian MIUR) is gratefully acknowledged for funding. We thank Dr. G. Romanazzi and Dr. A. Dell'Aquila for useful discussions.


The causes of the spectral instability of poly[9,9-dioctylfluoren-2,7-diyl-co-2′,7′-spiro(cyclohexane-1,9′-fluorene)] during thermal annealing in air, which leads to a green photoluminescence (PL) emission band, are investigated. The Igreen/Iblue ratio evolution (I = intensity) is found to be independent of the amount of monoalkylfluorene defects, despite the fact that their presence might be regarded as a trigger for the radical process leading to polymer degradation in the presence of a trace amount of metal catalyst. Furthermore, the absence of a correlation between the degree of oxidation of the material and the Igreen/Iblue ratio indicates that the spatial disposition of fluorenones formed during the thermal degradation of the material, rather than their amount, is to be strictly related to the Igreen/Iblue ratio. The evidenced formation of fluorenone agglomerates, which could be considered the cause for the consistent increase in the Igreen/Iblue ratio during a thermal oxidation of a polyfluorene, confirms that the radical mechanism can also involve dialkylfluorene systems. Finally, the higher resistance to thermal degradation shown by spirocyclohexane fluorene units with respect to dioctylfluorene ones allows the synthesis of new, spectrally stable, fluorene-based copolymers.