ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2019, vol 11, 3, pp. 3516-3523
A luminescent liquid crystal molecule (TPEMes) with efficient solid-state emission is rationally constructed via the chemical conjugation of blue-emitting tetraphenylethene cores and luminescent mesogenic tolane moieties, which are both featured with aggregation-induced emission properties. As for this fluorophore, aggregation-induced energy transfer from the emissive tolane mesogens to the lighting-up tetraphenylethene units endows the molecule pure blue emission in the suspension and bulk state. Combining differential scanning calorimetry, polarized optical microscope, and one-dimensional X-ray diffraction (1D XRD) experiments, the compound TPEMes is deduced to adapt thermodynamically more stable layered crystalline phase and can be “frozen” into a monotropic smectic mesophase due to kinetic reasons. As a result of more dense packing of TPEMes in the crystalline phase indicated by 1D XRD, the luminescence of TPEMes in crystalline phase blue-shifted by 17 nm relative to the metastable mesophase.