Here, films using CdSe nanocrystal (NC) triplet photosensitizers in conjunction with diphenylanthracene (DPA) emitters were assembled to address several challenges to practical applications for solution-based photon upconversion. By using poly(9-vinylcarbazole) as a phosphorescent host in this film, volatile organic solvents are eliminated, the spontaneous crystallization of the emitter is significantly retarded, and ∼1.5% photon upconversion quantum yield (out of a maximum of 50%) is obtained. Transient absorption spectroscopy on nanosecond-to-microsecond time scales reveals this efficiency is enabled by an exceptionally long triplet lifetime of 3.4 ± 0.3 ms. Ultimately, we find the upconversion efficiency is limited by incomplete triplet-triplet annihilation, which occurs with a rate 3-4 orders of magnitude slower than in solution-phase upconversion systems.
This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry.