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.
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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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