As in many fields, the most exciting endeavors in photon upconversion research focus on increasing the efficiency (upconversion quantum yield) and performance (anti-Stokes shift) while diminishing the cost of production. In this vein, studies employing metal-free thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) sensitizers have garnered increased interest. Here, for the first time, the strategy of ternary photon upconversion is utilized with the TADF sensitizer 2,4,5,6-tetrakis(carbazol-9-yl)isophthalonitrile (4CzIPN), resulting in a doubling of the upconversion quantum yield in comparison to the binary system employing p-terphenyl as the emitter. In this ternary blend, the sensitizer 4CzIPN is paired with an intermediate acceptor, 1-methylnaphthalene, in addition to the emitter molecule, p-terphenyl, yielding a normalized upconversion quantum yield of 7.6% while maintaining the 0.83 eV anti-Stokes shift. These results illustrate the potential benefits of utilizing this strategy of energy-funneling, previously used only with heavy-metal based sensitizers, to increase the performance of these photon upconversion systems.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Materials Science
- Mechanics of Materials
- Mechanical Engineering