Unprecedented Fluorophore Photostability Enabled by Low-Loss Organic Hyperbolic Materials

Yeon Ui Lee, Shilong Li, Steven Edward Bopp, Junxiang Zhao, Zhaoyu Nie, Clara Posner, Sui Yang, Xiang Zhang, Jin Zhang, Zhaowei Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The dynamics of photons in fluorescent molecules plays a key role in fluorescence imaging, optical sensing, organic photovoltaics, and displays. Photobleaching is an irreversible photodegradation process of fluorophores, representing a fundamental limitation in relevant optical applications. Chemical reagents are used to suppress the photobleaching rate but with exceptionally high specificity for each type of fluorophore. Here, using organic hyperbolic materials (OHMs), an optical platform to achieve unprecedented fluorophore photostability without any chemical specificity is demonstrated. A more than 500-fold lengthening of the photobleaching lifetime and a 230-fold increase in the total emitted photon counts are observed simultaneously. These exceptional improvements solely come from the low-loss hyperbolic dispersion of OHM films and the large resultant Purcell effect in the visible spectral range. The demonstrated OHM platform may open up a new paradigm in nanophotonics and organic plasmonics for super-resolution imaging and the engineering of light–matter interactions at the nanoscale.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2006496
JournalAdvanced Materials
Volume33
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 4 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • natural hyperbolic materials
  • organic hyperbolic materials
  • photostability
  • poly(3-hexylthiophenes)
  • Purcell effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering

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