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Adv Mater. 2014 Aug 20;26(31):5429-79. doi: 10.1002/adma.201401356. Epub 2014 Jun 30.

Aggregation-induced emission: the whole is more brilliant than the parts.

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Department of Chemistry, HKUST Jockey Club Institute for Advanced Study, Division of Life Science, Institute of Molecular Functional Materials and Division of Biomedical Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST), Clear Water Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.


"United we stand, divided we fall."--Aesop. Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) refers to a photophysical phenomenon shown by a group of luminogenic materials that are non-emissive when they are dissolved in good solvents as molecules but become highly luminescent when they are clustered in poor solvents or solid state as aggregates. In this Review we summarize the recent progresses made in the area of AIE research. We conduct mechanistic analyses of the AIE processes, unify the restriction of intramolecular motions (RIM) as the main cause for the AIE effects, and derive RIM-based molecular engineering strategies for the design of new AIE luminogens (AIEgens). Typical examples of the newly developed AIEgens and their high-tech applications as optoelectronic materials, chemical sensors and biomedical probes are presented and discussed.


aggregation-induced emission; biomedical probes; chemical sensors; optoelectronic materials; restriction of intramolecular motions

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