Functional organic materials that display reversible changes in fluorescence in response to external stimuli are of immense interest owing to their potential applications in sensors, probes, and security links. While earlier studies mainly focused on changes in photoluminescence (PL) color in response to external stimuli, stimuli-responsive electroluminescence (EL) has not yet been explored for color-tunable emitters in organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Here a stimuli-responsive fluorophoric molecular system is reported that is capable of switching its emission color between green and orange in the solid state upon grinding, heating, and exposure to chemical vapor. A mechanistic study combining X-ray diffraction analysis and quantum chemical calculations reveals that the tunable green/orange emissions originate from the fluorophore's alternating excited-state conformers formed in the crystalline and amorphous phases. By taking advantage of this stimuli-responsive fluorescence behavior, two-color emissive OLEDs were produced using the same fluorophore in different solid phases.
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