Nonconventional 1,8-Diazafluoren-9-One Aggregates for Green Light Enhancement in Hybrid Biocompatible Media
Organic aggregates currently play a prominent role, mainly for their unique optoelectronic properties in the aggregated state. Such properties can be related to the aggregates’ structure and the molecular packing mode. In the literature, we have well-established models of H and J aggregates defined based on the molecular exciton model. However, unconventional aggregates, the most unrecognized forms, have been generating interest among researchers recently. Within unconventional aggregation, aggregation-induced emission systems (AIE) are considered. In the present work, we discuss the effect of the forming of unconventional aggregation together with the change in dye concentration on the surface energy characteristics of the materials. All materials were prepared as hybrid biocompatible thin films where the matrix is TiO2 or TiO2/carbon nanowalls (CNWs) with the incorporated dye in the form of 1,8-diazafluoren-9-one (DFO). Using the time-resolved emission spectra and the determination of surface parameters from contact angle measurements, we indicated the correlation between the changes in such parameters and the concentration of DFO dye in two types of TiO2 and TiO2/CNW structures. To examine the propensity of DFO for aggregation, the internal energy of the dye was assessed in several aggregate structures using Quantum chemistry calculations. The results emphasize that DFO is an attractive structure in the design of new fluorophores due to its low molecular weight, the presence of a nitrogen atom that provides good coordination properties, and the ability to form hydrogen bonds. Our studies show that when using suitable matrices, i.e., rigid media, it forms the preferred forms of aggregates in the excited state, characterized by high emission efficiency in the band maximum of around 550 nm.