Modern alchemy creates luminescent iron molecules

A group of researchers active at NanoLund have made the first iron-based molecule capable of emitting light. This could contribute to the development of affordable and environmentally friendly materials for e.g. solar cells, light sources and displays.

Through advanced molecular design, the Lund researchers have now successfully manipulated the electronic properties of iron-based molecules so that they much better resemble the ruthenium-based substances.

By doing so, they have, for the first time, created an iron-based dye molecule which is able to not only capture light, but also subsequently emit light of a different colour. The latter is significantly more difficult to achieve, which contributes to why the researchers’ accomplishment in showing that the new iron molecule emits orange light is so important.

Read the journal article "A low-spin Fe(III) complex with 100-ps ligand-to-metal charge transfer photoluminescence" in Nature 543, 695–699 doi:10.1038/nature21430 or find more information in the Lund University press release (in Swedish and in English), AZO Materials (in English), Electronic Specifier (in English), forskning.se (in Swedish).