Metal-containing polymers: Facile tuning of photophysical traits and emerging applications in organic electronics and photonics

Cheuk Lam HO, Wai Yeung WONG*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

221 Citations (Scopus)


Metal-containing polymers or metallopolymers have become a field of immense interest because of their possible application in the materials industry. The presence of transition metal elements in a polymer chain would offer an attractive platform for combining the chemical, electronic, magnetic, optical and redox properties of metal complexes with those of the organic materials. This has led to a rapidly expanding knowledge in their functional properties and uses. A complete understanding of the relationship between chemical and electronic structures is necessary to tailor for a particular function so that specialty polymers with advanced functionalities can be developed. Polymers possess unique advantages such as low cost, light weight and ease of solution processibility and, therefore, they hold great promise as versatile functional materials for exploitation in organic electronics. This review presents the latest research development of the field, with emphasis on fundamental concepts, facile tuning of their photophysical properties and current applications in the optoelectronic areas. To date, many soluble, semiconducting, photovoltaic and luminescent conjugated metalated polymers have been generated and studied. They have found an array of high-tech applications, for example, as active layers in the fabrication of polymer light-emitting diodes, polymer solar cells and polymer field-effect transistors. Their excited state chemistry is also of pivotal importance in understanding the operation mechanism and in optimizing the performance of these polymeric optoelectronic devices. This contribution will serve as a good forum to highlight the contemporary developments made by the polymer scientists working on functional metal-containing polymers for organic electronics and photonics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2469-2502
Number of pages34
JournalCoordination Chemistry Reviews
Issue number21-22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry

User-Defined Keywords

  • Metallopolymers
  • Organic electronics
  • Photoluminescence
  • Photophysics
  • Transition metals


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