Controlled Fluorescence Bursts from Conjugated Polymers Induced by Triplet Quenching


  • We are grateful to W. Stadler and A. Helfrich for technical support as well as to the DFG for financial support through SFB 486 and the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz award.


Dramatic fluorescence bursts (see Figure and cover) from conjugated polymers are observed upon exposure to air. The burst occurs prior to photo-oxidation and is imaged in single molecules of a ladder-type polymer, but is also found in bulk films. Triplet shelving is identified as an important mechanism limiting the fluorescence yield of conjugated polymers due to both a reduction in photon cycling rates and singlet–triplet quenching in the multichromophoric system.