Electrostatic mechanophores in tuneable light–emitting piezopolymer nanowires

Electromechanical coupling through piezoelectric polymer chains allows the emission of organic molecules in active nanowires to be tuned. This effect is evidenced by highly bendable arrays of counter–ion dye–doped nanowires made of a poly(vinylidenefluoride) copolymer. A reversible redshift of the dye emission is found upon the application of dynamic stress during highly accurate bending experiments. By density functional theory calculations it is found that these photophysical properties are associated with mechanical stresses applied to electrostatically interacting molecular systems, namely to counter–ion–mediated states that involve light–emitting molecules as well as charged regions of piezoelectric polymer chains. These systems are an electrostatic class of supramolecular functional stress–sensitive units, which might impart new functionalities in hybrid molecular nanosystems and anisotropic nanostructures for sensing devices and soft robotics.

Contact person: Luana Persano, NANO Pisa