Autofluorescence is a major challenge in complex tissue imaging when molecules present in the biological tissue compete with the fluorophore. This issue may be resolved by designing organic molecules with long fluorescence lifetimes. The present work reports the two-photon absorption (TPA) properties of a thermally activated delayed fluorescence (TADF) molecule with carbazole as the electron donor and dicyanobenzene as the electron acceptor (i.e., 4CzIPN). The results indicate that 4CzIPN exhibits a moderate TPA cross-section (∼9 × 10−50 cm4 s photon−1), high fluorescence quantum yield, and a long fluorescence lifetime (∼1.47 μs). 4CzIPN was compactly encapsulated into an amphiphilic copolymer via nanoprecipitation to achieve water-soluble organic dots. Interestingly, 4CzIPN organic dots have been utilized in applications involving two-photon fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM). Our work aptly demonstrates that TADF molecules are promising candidates of nonlinear optical probes for developing next-generation multiphoton FLIM applications.

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