A red–green–blue (RGB) trichromophoric fluorescent organic nanoparticle exhibiting multi-colour emission was constructed; the blue-emitting cationic oligofluorene nanoparticle acted as an energy-donor scaffold to undergo fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to a red-emitting dye embedded in the nanoparticle (interior FRET) and to a green-emitting dye adsorbed on the surface through electrostatic interactions (exterior FRET). Each FRET event occurs independently and is free from sequential FRET, thus the resultant dual-FRET system exhibits multi-colour emission, including white, in aqueous solution and film state. A characteristic white-emissive nanoparticle showed visible responses upon perturbation of the exterior FRET efficiency by acceptor displacement, leading to highly sensitive responses toward polyanions in a ratiometric manner. Specifically, our system exhibits high sensitivity toward heparin with an extremely low detection limit.
- multi-colour emission
- supramolecular assembly