Recent Progress in AIE-active Polymers

  • Yu Bing Hu
  • Jacky W. Y. LamEmail author
  • Ben Zhong TangEmail author


The demand for highly efficient solid-state luminophores is continuously growing due to their potential applications in optoelectrical devices, chemosensors, and biological applications. The discovery of luminogens with aggregation-induced emission (AIE) by Tang et al. in 2001 provides a good reponse to this demand. Among the exploited AIE luminogens, AIE-active polymers possess many advantages such as simple synthesis, convenient structrue modifications, and good processability, which offer an extensive platform for scientists and engineers. Herein, the design principles and latest synthetic advancement of AIE-active polymers are summarized, including click polymerization and multicomponent polymerization. Non-conjugated heteroatom-rich polymers were in situ generated and demonstated non-conventional clusteroluminoscence. Advanced applications including fluorescent sensors, stimuli-responsive materials, biological applications, circularly polarized luminescence, and electroluminescence are then introduced in detail. AIE-active polymers display the signal-amplification effect for sensitive and selective response to chemo/bioanalytes or stimuli and enhanced photosensitization effect for cancer theranostics. Retrospecting the expansion of this field can further strengthen our belief that AIE-active polymers are promising for conceptual innovation and technological breakthroughs in the near future.


Aggregation-induced emission Polymer synthesis High-tech application 


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This work was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 21788102, 21490570, and 21490574), the Research Grant Council of Hong Kong (Nos. 16308116, 16303815, C2014-15G, C6009-17G, and AHKUST605/ 16), the Science and Technology Plan of Shenzhen (Nos. JCYJ20160229205601482, JCY20170307173739739, and JCYJ20170818113602462), and the Innovation and Technology Commission (Nos. ITC-CNERC149C01 and ITS/254/17).


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Copyright information

© Chinese Chemical Society, Institute of Chemistry (CAS) and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HKUST-Shenzhen Research InstituteShenzhenChina
  2. 2.Department of Chemistry, The Hong Kong Branch of Chinese National Engineering Research Center for Tissue Restoration and Reconstruction and Institute for Advanced StudyThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyHong KongChina
  3. 3.Center for Aggregation-Induced Emission, SCUT-HKUST Joint Research Institute, State Key Laboratory of Luminescent Materials and DevicesSouth China University of TechnologyGuangzhouChina

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