Robust triplet-triplet annihilation photon upconversion by efficient oxygen scavenging
Journal article, 2017
We hereby present a simple method for reducing the effect of oxygen quenching in Triplet-Triplet Annihilation Upconversion (TTA-UC) systems. A number of commercially available thioethers and one thiol have been tested as singlet oxygen scavengers. Recording of the upconverted emission from a well-studied PdOEP (sensitizer)-DPA (annihilator/emitter) couple has been made over time with steady-state excitation capturing the steady-state kinetics of the TTA-UC process as the solubilized oxygen is depleted by reaction with the scavengers. The efficiency of the TTA-UC process is compared between chemical oxygen scavenging and mechanical removal by inert gas purging or the freeze-pump-thaw method. Selected methods are combined to explore the highest attainable TTA-UC quantum yield. A maximum TTA-UC quantum yield of 21% with the shortest UC onset time was obtained with dimethylthiomethane (DMTM) as the scavenger in an air-saturated solvent and slightly higher quantum yields were obtained in combination with other deoxygenation techniques. Samples containing DMTM displayed little decrease in the quantum yield over four hours of continuous high intensity irradiation, which illustrates the robustness of applying chemical oxygen removal in TTA-UC instead of more time-consuming mechanical processes that usually require specialized equipment.