Charging and ultralong phosphorescence of lanthanide facilitated organic complex

Waygen Thor, Yue Wu, Lei Wang, Yonghong Zhang, Peter A. Tanner*, Ka Leung Wong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Emission from the triplet state of an organo-lanthanide complex is observed only when the energy transfer to the lanthanide ion is absent. The triplet state lifetime under cryogenic conditions for organo-lanthanide compounds usually ranges up to tens of milliseconds. The compound LaL1(TTA)3 reported herein exhibits 77 K phosphorescence observable by the naked eye for up to 30 s. Optical spectroscopy, density functional theory (DFT) and time-dependent DFT techniques have been applied to investigate the photophysical processes of this compound. In particular, on-off continuous irradiation cycles reveal a charging behaviour of the emission which is associated with triplet-triplet absorption because it shows a shorter rise lifetime than the corresponding decay lifetime and it varies with illumination intensity. The discovery of the behaviour of this compound provides insight into important photophysical processes of the triplet state of organo-lanthanide systems and may open new fields of application such as data encryption, anti-counterfeiting and temperature switching.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6532
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 11 Nov 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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