Luminescent Papers with Asymmetric Complexes of Eu(III) and Tb(III) in Polymeric Matrices and Suggested Combinations for Color Tuning

Aguado, Roberto J.
Gomes, Beatriz O.
Durães, Luisa
Valente, Artur J. M.
Complexes of lanthanide ions, such as Eu(III) (red light emission) and Tb(III) (green light emission), with proper ligands can be highly luminescent and color-tunable, also attaining yellow and orange emission under UV radiation. The ligands employed in this work were poly(sodium acrylate), working as polymeric matrix, and 1,10-phenanthroline, taking advantage of its antenna effect. Possibilities of color display were further enhanced by incorporating a cationic polyfluorene with blue emission. This strategy allowed for obtaining cyan and magenta, besides the aforementioned colors. Uncoated cellulose paper was impregnated with the resulting luminescent inks, observing a strong hypsochromic shift in excitation wavelength upon drying. Hence, while a cheap UV-A lamp sufficed to reveal the polyfluorene’s blue emission, shorter wavelengths were necessary to visualize the emission due to lanthanide ions as well. The capacity to reveal, with UV-C radiation, a full-color image that remains invisible under natural light is undoubtedly useful for anti-counterfeiting applications. Furthermore, both lanthanide ion complexes and polyfluorenes were shown to have their luminescence quenched by Cu(II) ions and nitroarenes, respectively ​
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