Slow luminescence emission from polymers with a hyperbolic decay law. A survey of commercial materials with an apparatus of wide aperture

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A survey of 98 commercial polymers with an apparatus responding to a sample area of 20 cm2 revealed luminescence in about a third of them with a characteristic, hyperbolic decay extending over several minutes after brief irradiation with an incandescent source. The time dependence of the intensity was described well by the Debye—Edwards equation, of the form I = At−m, with m between 0.67 and 1.17 except for polyvinylcarbazole, with m = 1.76. In a few cases studied in more detail, the emission could be stimulated by wavelengths extending into the visible region, showed a negligible temperature dependence (6–40°C), and was little affected by removal of oxygen or water from the atmosphere around the samples. The source of the emission is ascribed to charge recombination of photoejected electrons from chromophores in the polymer structure or (in most cases) present as adventitious impurities which were not extractable in two cases. Nylon 6, which showed little emission alone, gave well‐defined hyperbolic curves after heating in air or after addition of the fluorescent dye Benzoxanthene Yellow H2495. Copyright © 1987 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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Journal of Applied Polymer Science