The main objective of my PhD research at CEA Grenoble (M. Mazzanti, R. Demadrille) was related to a better understanding of the structure-property relationship in emissive lanthanide complexes with potential applications in opto-electronic devices. This was achieved by a careful design of lanthanide antennas based on either organic chromophores or transition metals as ligands, followed by a study of the structural and photophysical properties of the resulting complexes, in order to estimate and further predict the sensitization efficiencies.
In a first line of research, we have described and patented the incorporation of tetrazole groups as carboxylic acid replacements for the sensitization of lanthanide emission. We were able to show how the variation of ligand substituents influences the photophysical properties, allowing us to draw predictions and to adapt the structures for improving the emission efficiency. Some of the compounds have been successfully tested in OLED devices.
We also became interested in designing and studying new types of polymetallic architectures based on iridium complexes for the sensitization of lanthanide emission, as well as preliminary investigating the grafting of lanthanide complexes on silicon surfaces.