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Recent Progress in AIE-active Polymers

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Abstract

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.

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Acknowledgments

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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Correspondence to Jacky W. Y. Lam or Ben Zhong Tang.

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Hu, Y.B., Lam, J.W.Y. & Tang, B.Z. Recent Progress in AIE-active Polymers. Chin J Polym Sci 37, 289–301 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10118-019-2221-4

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10118-019-2221-4

Keywords

  • Aggregation-induced emission
  • Polymer synthesis
  • High-tech application