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J Am Chem Soc. 2015 Jul 29;137(29):9289-95. doi: 10.1021/jacs.5b03051. Epub 2015 Jul 16.

Near-Infrared Lasing from Small-Molecule Organic Hemispheres.

Wang X1,2, Liao Q3, Li H1,2, Bai S1,2, Wu Y1, Lu X3, Hu H4, Shi Q1, Fu H1,3,5.

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†Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences (BNLMS), Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China.
‡University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, P. R. China.
§Beijing Key Laboratory for Optical Materials and Photonic Devices, Department of Chemistry, Capital Normal University, Beijing 100048, P. R. China.
∥Department of Chemistry, The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35487, United States.
⊥Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering, Tianjin 300072, P. R. China.


Near-infrared (NIR) lasers are key components for applications, such as telecommunication, spectroscopy, display, and biomedical tissue imaging. Inorganic III-V semiconductor (GaAs) NIR lasers have achieved great successes but require expensive and sophisticated device fabrication techniques. Organic semiconductors exhibit chemically tunable optoelectronic properties together with self-assembling features that are well suitable for low-temperature solution processing. Major blocks in realizing NIR organic lasing include low stimulated emission of narrow-bandgap molecules due to fast nonradiative decay and exciton-exciton annihilation, which is considered as a main loss channel of population inversion for organic lasers under high carrier densities. Here we designed and synthesized the small organic molecule (E)-3-(4-(di-p-tolylamino)phenyl)-1-(1-hydroxynaphthalen-2-yl)prop-2-en-1-one (DPHP) with amphiphilic nature, which elaborately self-assembles into micrometer-sized hemispheres that simultaneously serves as the NIR emission medium with a photoluminescence quantum efficiency of ∼15.2%, and the high-Q (∼1.4 × 10(3)) whispering gallery mode microcavity. Moreover, the radiative rate of DPHP hemispheres is enhanced up to ∼1.98 × 10(9) s(-1) on account of the exciton-vibrational coupling in the solid state with the J-type molecular-coupling component, and meanwhile the exciton-exciton annihilation process is eliminated. As a result, NIR lasing with a low threshold of ∼610 nJ/cm(2) is achieved in the single DPHP hemisphere at room temperature. Our demonstration is a major step toward incorporating the organic coherent light sources into the compact optoelectronic devices at NIR wavelengths.


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