It is well known that luminescent conjugated polymers suffer serious loss of photoluminescence quantum yield (PLQY) in the solid state compared to dilute solution. This is due to efficient exciton migration in the solid, which enables the excitons to readily find low energy quenching sites. Here a new method to fabricate solid films with densely packed non-interacting luminescent polymer chains, which yield very high PLQY and more astonishingly room temperature phosphorescence, is reported. Using water-soluble conjugated polymers (WSCP) and polymeric surfactants such as poly(vinyl alcohol) (PVA) and poly(vinyl-pyrrolidone) (PVP), films at 1:1 wt% or higher WSCP are produced and show room temperature phosphorescence; such behavior has never been observed before and clearly shows the very high degree of chain isolation that can be achieved in these hosts. The PVA or PVP not only breaks up WSCP aggregates in solution as an effective surfactant, PVA-PVA or PVP-PVP hydrogen bond formation upon drying locks in the isolation of the WSCP, avoiding segregation and yielding long time stability to these polymer/polymer nanomixtures. The method is found to work with a wide variety of WSCPs.
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