Highly luminescent covalent organic frameworks (COFs) are rarely achieved because of the aggregation-caused quenching (ACQ) of stacked layers. Here, we report a general strategy to design highly emissive COFs by introducing an aggregation-induced emission (AIE) mechanism. The integration of AIE-active units into the polygon vertices yields crystalline porous COFs with periodic stacked columnar AIE arrays. These columnar AIE arrays dominate the luminescence of the COFs, achieve exceptional quantum yield via a synergistic structural locking effect of intralayer covalent bonding and interlayer noncovalent interactions and serve as a highly sensitive sensor to report ammonia down to sub ppm level. Our strategy breaks through the ACQ-based mechanistic limitations of COFs and opens a way to explore highly emissive COF materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Colloid and Surface Chemistry