A family of organic emitters with a donor–σ–acceptor (D-σ-A) motif is presented. Owing to the weakly coupled D-σ-A intramolecular charge-transfer state, a transition from the localized excited triplet state (3LE) and charge-transfer triplet state (3CT) to the charge-transfer singlet state (1CT) occurred with a small activation energy and high photoluminescence quantum efficiency. Two thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) components were identified, one of which has a very short lifetime of 200–400 ns and the other a longer TADF lifetime of the order of microseconds. In particular, the two D-σ-A materials presented strong blue emission with TADF properties in toluene. These results will shed light on the molecular design of new TADF emitters with short delayed lifetimes.
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