Time-resolved Photophysical Characterization of Triplet-harvesting Organic Compounds at an Oxygen-free Environment Using an iCCD Camera

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Abstract

Here, we present a sensible method of the acquisition and analysis of time-resolved photoluminescence using an ultrafast iCCD camera. This system enables the acquisition of photoluminescence spectra covering the time regime from nanoseconds up to 0.1 s. This enables us to follow the changes in the intensity (decay) and emission of the spectra over time. Using this method, it is possible to study diverse photophysical phenomena, such as the emission of phosphorescence, and the contributions of prompt and delayed fluorescence in molecules showing thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF). Remarkably, all spectra and decays are obtained in a single experiment. This can be done for solids (thin film, powder, crystal) and liquid samples, where the only limitations are the spectral sensitivity of the camera and the excitation wavelength (532 nm, 355 nm, 337 nm, and 266 nm). This technique is, thus, very important when investigating the excited state dynamics in organic emitters for their application in organic light-emitting diodes and other areas where triplet harvesting is of paramount importance. Since triplet states are strongly quenched by oxygen, emitters with efficient TADF luminescence, or those showing room temperature phosphorescence (RTP), must be correctly prepared in order to remove any dissolved oxygen from solutions and films. Otherwise, no long-lived emission will be observed. The method of degassing solid samples as presented in this work is basic and simple, but the degassing of liquid samples creates additional difficulties and is particularly interesting. A method of minimizing solvent loss and changing the sample concentration, while still enabling to remove oxygen in a very efficient and a repeatable manner, is presented in this work.