Efficient, Scalable, and Solvent-free Mechanochemical Synthesis of the OLED Material Alq(3) (q=8-Hydroxyquinolinate)

Stuart James, Xiaohe Ma, Gin Keat Lim, Kenneth Harris, David Apperley, Peter Horton, Michael Hursthouse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


The aluminum complex Alq(3) (q = 8-hydroxyquinolinate), which has important applications in organic light-emitting diode materials, is shown to be readily synthesized as a pure phase under solvent-free mechanochemical conditions from Al(OAc)(2)OH and 8-hydroxyquinoline by ball milling. The initial product of the mechanochemical synthesis is a novel acetic acid solvate of Alq(3), and the alpha polymorph of Alq(3) is obtained on subsequent heating/desolvation of this phase. The structure of the mechanochemically prepared acetic acid solvate of Alq(3) has been determined directly from powder X-ray diffraction data and is shown to be a different polymorph from the corresponding acetic acid solvate prepared by solution-state crystallization of Alq(3) from acetic acid. Significantly, the mechanochemical synthesis of Alq(3) is shown to be fully scalable across two orders of magnitude from 0.5 to 50 g scale. The Alq(3) sample obtained from the solvent-free mechanochemical synthesis is analytically pure and exhibits identical photoluminescence behavior to that of a sample prepared by the conventional synthetic route.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5869-5872
Number of pages4
JournalCrystal Growth and Design
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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