A stoichiometric terbium-europium dyad molecular thermometer: energy transfer properties

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Light: Science and Applications, 2018, 7 (1)
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© 2018, The Author(s). The optical thermometer has shown great promise for use in the fields of aeronautical engineering, environmental monitoring and medical diagnosis. Self-referencing lanthanide thermo-probes distinguish themselves because of their accuracy, calibration, photostability, and temporal dimension of signal. However, the use of conventional lanthanide-doped materials is limited by their poor reproducibility, random distance between energy transfer pairs and interference by energy migration, thereby restricting their utility. Herein, a strategy for synthesizing hetero-dinuclear complexes that comprise chemically similar lanthanides is introduced in which a pair of thermosensitive dinuclear complexes, cycTb-phEu and cycEu-phTb, were synthesized. Their structures were geometrically optimized with an internuclear distance of approximately 10.6Å. The sensitive linear temperature-dependent luminescent intensity ratios of europium and terbium emission over a wide temperature range (50–298K and 10–200K, respectively) and their temporal dimension responses indicate that both dinuclear complexes can act as excellent self-referencing thermometers. The energy transfer from Tb 3+ to Eu 3+ is thermally activated, with the most important pathway involving the 7 F 1 Eu 3+ J-multiplet at room temperature. The energy transfer from the antenna to Eu 3+ was simulated, and it was found that the most important ligand contributions to the rate come from transfers to the Eu 3+ upper states rather than direct ligand–metal transfer to 5 D 1 or 5 D 0 . As the first molecular-based thermometer with clear validation of the metal ratio and a fixed distance between the metal pairs, these dinuclear complexes can be used as new materials for temperature sensing and can provide a new platform for understanding the energy transfer between lanthanide ions.
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