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Research Highlight | Center for Nanoscale Materials

New design concept for imparting electroluminescence to stretchable polymers

In a Nature Materials paper, scientists present a molecular design strategy of inserting flexible, linear units into a polymer backbone to form an electroluminescent material.

Scientific Achievement

A design concept is presented for preparing stretchable electroluminescent polymers that can harness all the excitons formed through thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF). Fabrication involves embedding soft alkyl chains between TADF units in the polymer backbone.

Significance and Impact

Electroluminescent devices are already key to many modern technologies. Stretchable electroluminescent devices would be applicable to on-skin displays, optical sensors, wearable imaging systems, and more.

Research Details

  • Synthesized polymer films achieved near unity theoretical quantum yield (as opposed to only 25% for polymers based on single excitons), an external quantum efficiency of 10%, and a stretchability of 125%.

Work was performed in part at the Center for Nanoscale Materials. 


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About Argonne’s Center for Nanoscale Materials
The Center for Nanoscale Materials is one of the five DOE Nanoscale Science Research Centers, premier national user facilities for interdisciplinary research at the nanoscale supported by the DOE Office of Science. Together the NSRCs comprise a suite of complementary facilities that provide researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities to fabricate, process, characterize and model nanoscale materials, and constitute the largest infrastructure investment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative. The NSRCs are located at DOE’s Argonne, Brookhaven, Lawrence Berkeley, Oak Ridge, Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories. For more information about the DOE NSRCs, please visit https://​sci​ence​.osti​.gov/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​/​U​s​e​r​-​F​a​c​i​l​i​t​i​e​s​-​a​t​-​a​-​G​lance.

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