Two-Step Oxidation Synthesis of Sulfur with a Red Aggregation-Induced Emission

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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  • Chuanchuan Zhang
  • Henggang Wang
  • Xinjian Yang
  • Yu-e Shi


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9997-10002
Journal / PublicationAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number25
Online published8 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020


Sulfur is not normally considered a light-emitting material, even though there have been reports of a dim luminescence of this compound in the blue-to-green spectral region. Now, it is shown how to make red-emissive sulfur by a two-step oxidation approach using elemental sulfur and Na2S as starting materials, with a high photoluminescence quantum yield of 7.2 %. Polysulfide is formed first and is partially transformed into Na2S2O3 in the first step, and then turns back to elemental S in the second step. The elevated temperature and relatively oxygen-deficient environment during the second step transforms Na2S2O3 into Na2SO3 incorporated with oxygen vacancies, thus resulting in the formation of a solid-state powder consisting of elemental S embedded in Na2SO3. It shows aggregation-induced emission properties, attributed to the influence of oxygen vacancies on the emission dynamics of sulfur by providing additional lower energy states that facilitate the radiative relaxation of excitons.

Research Area(s)

  • aggregation-induced emission, elemental sulfur, oxidation, oxygen vacancies, phosphorescence

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