Advanced Materials

Aggregation-Induced Emission: The Whole Is More Brilliant than the Parts

Authors

  • Ju Mei,

    1. Department of Chemistry, HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study, Division of Life Science, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST), Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
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  • Yuning Hong,

    1. Department of Chemistry, HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study, Division of Life Science, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST), Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
    2. HKUST Shenzhen Institute, Nansha, Shenzhen, China
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  • Jacky W. Y. Lam,

    1. Department of Chemistry, HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study, Division of Life Science, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST), Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
    2. HKUST Shenzhen Institute, Nansha, Shenzhen, China
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  • Anjun Qin,

    1. Guangdong Innovative Research Team, SCUT–HKUST Joint Research Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Luminescent Materials and Devices, South China University of Technology (SCUT), Guangzhou, China
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  • Youhong Tang,

    1. Centre for NanoScale Science and Technology, Centre for Maritime Engineering, Control and Imaging, School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics, Flinders University, South Australia, Australia
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  • Ben Zhong Tang

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Chemistry, HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study, Division of Life Science, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST), Kowloon, Hong Kong, China
    2. HKUST Shenzhen Institute, Nansha, Shenzhen, China
    3. Guangdong Innovative Research Team, SCUT–HKUST Joint Research Laboratory, State Key Laboratory of Luminescent Materials and Devices, South China University of Technology (SCUT), Guangzhou, China
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Abstract

United we stand, divided we fall.”–Aesop.

Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) refers to a photophysical phenomenon shown by a group of luminogenic materials that are non-emissive when they are dissolved in good solvents as molecules but become highly luminescent when they are clustered in poor solvents or solid state as aggregates. In this Review we summarize the recent progresses made in the area of AIE research. We conduct mechanistic analyses of the AIE processes, unify the restriction of intramolecular motions (RIM) as the main cause for the AIE effects, and derive RIM-based molecular engineering strategies for the design of new AIE luminogens (AIEgens). Typical examples of the newly developed AIEgens and their high-tech applications as optoelectronic materials, chemical sensors and biomedical probes are presented and discussed.

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