Making a Glowing Polymer

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Science  07 Mar 2003:
Vol. 299, Issue 5612, pp. 1489
DOI: 10.1126/science.299.5612.1489c

Aluminum tris(8-hydroxyquinoline) or Alq3 is one of the more stable fluorescent solid-state materials; hence, it is commonly used as the emission and electron transport layers in organic light- emitting diodes (OLEDs). However, the need to deposit Alq3 in vacuum is incompatible with the current trend toward fabricating OLEDs via a solution process. One option has been to trap Alq3 within a polymer matrix, and another route has been to couple it to the polymer backbone after polymerization, but these approaches have shown only limited success to date.

Instead, Meyers and Weck have designed a functionalized monomer containing Alq3. Norbornene was chosen as the polymer backbone because it can be polymerized by ring-opening metathesis, a versatile method that has a high tolerance for many functional groups. The pure polymer exhibited only limited solubility, but this could be remedied by incorporating an aliphatic-norbornene comonomer. The photoluminescence emission spectra of the copolymer in solution was similar to that of the parent Alq3, and preliminary studies of spin-cast films indicate that this is also the case for the solid-state copolymer. — MSL

Macromolecules 10.1021/ma0259012 (2003).

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