Carbon dots in zeolites: A new class of thermally activated delayed fluorescence materials with ultralong lifetimes

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  26 May 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 5, e1603171
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603171


Thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) materials are inspiring intensive research in optoelectronic applications. To date, most of the TADF materials are limited to metal-organic complexes and organic molecules with lifetimes of several microseconds/milliseconds that are sensitive to oxygen. We report a facial and general “dots-in-zeolites” strategy to in situ confine carbon dots (CDs) in zeolitic matrices during hydrothermal/solvothermal crystallization to generate high-efficient TADF materials with ultralong lifetimes. The resultant CDs@zeolite composites exhibit high quantum yields up to 52.14% and ultralong lifetimes up to 350 ms at ambient temperature and atmosphere. This intriguing TADF phenomenon is due to the fact that nanoconfined space of zeolites can efficiently stabilize the triplet states of CDs, thus enabling the reverse intersystem crossing process for TADF. Meanwhile, zeolite frameworks can also hinder oxygen quenching to present TADF behavior at air atmosphere. This design concept introduces a new perspective to develop materials with unique TADF performance and various novel delayed fluorescence–based applications.

  • carbon dots
  • zeolite
  • Thermally activated delayed fluorescence
  • composite materials
  • security protection
  • hydrothermal synthesis

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances