Luminescent Metal Complexes within Polyelectrolyte Layers: Tuning Electron and Energy Transfer
The electrochemical and photophysical properties of a luminescent metal center, [Os(bpy)3]2+, are significantly modified by encapsulation within a conducting polymer composite film. Cyclic voltammetry reveals that the encapsulation in an inherently conducting polymer, polyaniline (Pani) or polypyrrole (PPy), can dramatically influence the charge-transfer rates between the metal centers. The increased electron transport, most likely mediated through the conducting polymer backbone, significantly enhances the electrochemiluminescence (ECL) efficiency. The increased communication between adjacent metal centers can also result in other interesting properties, such as photoinduced electron-transfer processes. In situ electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy has been used to probe the photo-oxidation of an osmium metal center encapsulated in a PPy composite film. The irradiation of PPy in the presence of the osmium metal center resulted in the photo-oxidation of the Os2+ to Os3+ state and the consequent reduction of the PPy polyelectrolyte. The degree of communication between luminescent metal centers allows the composite properties to be tuned for various applications including ECL sensor devices and light-switching and light-harvesting systems.