Self-Assembly and Near Perfect Macroscopic Alignment of Fluorescent Triangulenium Salt in Spin-Cast Thin Films on PTFE
Journal article, 2013
Highly fluorescent, discotic trioxatriangulenium dyes were aligned by simple spin-casting on substrates with friction transferred PTFE layers. The fluorescent crystalline thin films show near perfect macroscopic alignment on centimeter large areas directly from spin-casting. Gracing Incidence X-ray Diffraction (GIXD) unambiguously allowed the determination of a long-range order unit cell as well as its orientation with respect to the PTFE fibers. Further analysis of the X-ray data, in conjunction with polarized absorption spectroscopy, suggest a lamellar packing model with alternating layers of alkyl chains and ionic dyes oriented parallel to the substrate. This structure results in a highly anisotropic electrostatic potential around the cationic chromophore, causing cant shifts in energy and orientation of the optical transitions. Thus, the optical properties of the material are, to a large extent, controlled by the position of the otherwise inert PF6- counterions. The bright fluorescence from the films is also polarized parallel to the PTFE alignment layer. Doping of the thin films with fluorescent energy acceptor traps shows that efficient exciton migration takes place in the thin films. The excellent exciton transfer capabilities, in conjunction with the perfect alignment, might be of interest in future applications in solar energy harvesting or as thin film sensors.