Visible-to-ultraviolet (vis-to-UV) triplet-triplet annihilation based photon upconversion (TTA-UC) is achieved in a non-volatile chromophoric ionic liquid (IL) for the first time. A novel IL is synthesized by combining UV-emitting anion 4-(2-phenyloxazol-5-yl)benzenesulfonate (PPOS) and trihexyltetradecylphosphonium cation (P66614). The nanostructured organization of chromophoric anions is demonstrated by synchrotron X-ray and optical measurements. When the IL is doped with a triplet sensitizer tris(2-phenylpyridinato)iridium(III) (Ir(ppy)3), the visible-to-UV TTA-UC with a relatively low threshold excitation intensity of 61 mW cm−2 is achieved. This is due to a large triplet diffusion coefficient in the IL (1.4×10−7 cm2 s−1) as well as a high absorption coefficient 15 cm−1 and a long PPOS triplet lifetime of 1.55 ms, all implemented in the condensed IL system. This work demonstrates the unique potential of ILs to control chromophore arrangements for desired functions.
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