Scientists have published an article in the journal Chem reporting the new discovery. Due to the creation of positively charged fluorescent dyes in a new class of materials (low-molecular-weight ion-insulating lattices — SMILES), the bright glow of the compound can be easily converted into a solid crystalline state. This progress breaks down a long-standing barrier to the formation of fluorescent solids, resulting in the brightest materials known.
These materials have potential applications in any technology that requires bright fluorescence or the development of optical properties, including solar harvesting and laser technology.
Although more than 100,000 different fluorescent dyes are currently available, almost none of them can be used to create solid optical materials. Colorants tend to undergo “quenching” when they become solid. This is because when colored materials are packed close together, the fluorescence intensity decreases.
To solve the problem, scientists mixed a colored dye with a colorless solution of cyanostar macrocyte molecules. While previous studies have already developed a macrocycle approach to diluting dyes, colored macrocycles have been used to accomplish this work.
The researchers plan to study the properties of fluorescent materials formed using this new technique, which will allow them to work with dye manufacturers in the future to realize the full potential of the materials in a variety of applications.