Upper-excited state emission is not usually observed from molecules owing to competition with much faster nonradiative relaxation pathways; however, it can be made more efficient by modifying the photonic density of states to enhance the radiative decay rate. Here, we show that embedding the small molecule zinc tetraphenylporphyrin (ZnTPP) in a hyperbolic metamaterial enables an ∼18-fold increase in fluorescence intensity from the second singlet excited state (S2) relative to that from the lowest singlet excited state (S1). By varying the number of periods in the HMM stack, we are able to systematically tune the ZnTPP fluorescence spectrum from red (dominated by emission from S1) to blue (dominated by emission from S2) with an instrument-limited decay lifetime <10 ps. Our results are consistent with a broadband Purcell enhancement in the radiative rate of both transitions predicted via transfer matrix modeling and point to a general opportunity to harness upper-excited states for spectrally tunable, ultrafast fluorescence via radiative decay engineering.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Materials Science(all)
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering