Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
Regio- and conformational isomerization are fundamental in chemistry, with profound effects upon physical properties, however their role in excited state properties is less developed. Here two regioisomers of bis(10H-phenothiazin-10-yl)dibenzo[b,d]thiophene-S,S-dioxide, a donor–acceptor–donor (D–A–D) thermally-activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) emitter, are studied. 2,8-bis(10H-phenothiazin-10-yl)dibenzo[b,d]thiophene-S,S-dioxide exhibits only one quasi-equatorial conformer on both donor sites, with charge-transfer (CT) emission close to the local triplet state leading to efficient TADF via spin-vibronic coupling. However, 3,7-bis(10H-phenothiazin-10 yl)dibenzo[b,d]thiophene-S,S-dioxide displays both a quasi-equatorial CT state and a higher-energy quasi-axial CT state. No TADF is observed in the quasi-axial CT emission. These two CT states link directly to the two folded conformers of phenothiazine. The presence of the low-lying local triplet state of the axial conformer also means that this quasi-axial CT is an effective loss pathway both photophysically and in devices. Importantly, donors or acceptors with more than one conformer have negative repercussions for TADF in organic light-emitting diodes.