Controlling information duration on rewritable luminescent paper based on hybrid antimony (III) chloride/small-molecule absorbates

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Science Advances  25 Nov 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 48, eabc2181
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc2181


Controlling the duration that information lasts on paper so that it disappears as desired is crucial for information security. However, this area is rarely studied. Here, we report [TEMA]2SbCl5 (1, TEMA+ = methyltriethylammonium), [TEA]2SbCl5 (2, TEA+ = tetraethylammonium), [TEBA]2SbCl5 (3, TEBA+ = benzyltriethylammonium), and [Ph4P]2SbCl5 (4, Ph4P+ = tetraphenylphosphonium) with structure-dependent reversible photoluminescent switching induced by the absorption and thermal release of small guest molecules including H2O, methanol, and ethylene glycol. Comparing the structural disorder levels, bond lengths, and luminescent Stokes shifts of the compounds aided in understanding their selective absorption behavior. Our results indicated that the information duration on the rewritable paper coated with the title compounds is easily tuned by changing the cation of the compounds, the type of guest molecules, and laser heating power. Our study opens previously unidentified avenues for information security and extends the potential applications of rewritable paper.

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