Skip to main content

Unfortunately we don't fully support your browser. If you have the option to, please upgrade to a newer version or use Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Safari 14 or newer. If you are unable to, and need support, please send us your feedback.

Publish with us
Subject report

Aggregation-Induced Emission: Research Trends and Impact


Light, the significant momentum for human evolution and civilization, has been explored by countless scientists throughout the centuries, resulting in many landmark theories and technologies in the history of scientific research. The concept of Aggregation-Induced Emission (AIE), first proposed by Dr. Ben Zhong Tang's team in 2001, has created an emerging field of study led by Chinese scientists, which has not only broken the classical textbook assertion that aggregation leads to quenching of luminescence but also promoted the deep development of this technology in chemistry, materials science, biomedicine, and other fields. Moreover, it shifted the scientific research paradigm from reductionism to holism, giving rise to a new area of science - aggregation science. In two decades, AIE has rapidly grown into a global hot frontier, attracting the attention of numerous research teams worldwide.

Total number of corresponding authors versus total number of active authors infographics

Total number of corresponding authors versus total number of active authors in AIE-related publications by countries, 2012-2021 Source: Scopus

AIE report

Research trends and impact report on the field of Aggregation-Induced Emission (AIE) 2001-2021

Published by:AIE Institute of South China University of Technology, Elsevier

Discover the newly published Strategic Services AIE report, zooming in on the outputs and impacts of AIE research.

AIE report cover

AIE Institute of South China University of Technology is a new R&D unit jointly supported by Guangzhou Municipal Science and Technology Bureau, Guangzhou Hi-Tech Industry Development Zone, and South China University of Technology, which is engaged in the industrial transformation research of aggregation-induced emission (AIE). It was established on May 28, 2020. It settled in the core location of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Macau Science and Technology Innovation Corridor - a technology enterprise accelerator in the eastern central area of Science City in the Guangzhou Economic and Technological Development Zone.

Analysis objectives and challenges

  • Evaluate the academic outputs and academic impact of AIE research

  • Cross-field and academia-industry analysis

  • Identify the development factors of AIE research

  • Exploring multiple research directions of AIE

  • Global data comparison, transnational data comparison and analysis


This report uses the world's largest abstract and citation database Scopus, scientific research analysis platform SciVal, and patent analysis platform LexisNexis® PatentSight® as the primary data sources. It employs bibliometric and citation analysis methods to comprehensively analyze the scientific research results and related patents in the field of AIE from 2001 to 2021 using multiple significant data indicators. The aim is to provide more intuitive and reliable basic information for researchers and industrializers, a decision basis for AIE platform construction, talent training, policy formulation, and technical support for strategic planning of research in this field.

  • Overview of the overall research performance of AIE research: The report describes the overall research output and trends in the field of AIE over the past 20 years, the report shows that AIE research is increasing and becoming more international.

  • Research collaboration in AIE research: The report indicates that the future of AIE research collaboration tends to be international and regional.

  • Research characteristics of the AIE field: The report describes the field in three aspects: discipline distribution and positioning, extended field exploration, and hot research themes, indicating that AIE research is developing from the source innovation period to the innovation-intensive period.

  • Transformation capability of AIE basic research to industrial application: The report explores the knowledge flow between patents and related patent analysis from two dimensions of industry-academia cooperation and academic output, respectively, showing that industrial application is gradually becoming the mainstream development trend of AIE research

Scholarly output

Global scholarly output in AIE research (2001-2021). Source: Scopus

View larger imageopens in new tab/window

scholarly output infographic

Subject layout

ASJC subject area distribution of AIE publication output for top five countries with AIE output (2012-2021). Subject areas with 15 or more publications are shown; the number indicates the publication output in that subject by a country; the length of the bar indicates publication output in that subject as a share of the total output for a country. Source: Scopus

View larger imageopens in new tab/window

subject layout infographic

Sub-field knowledge flow

Number and share of publications in the nine research areas that cite or are cited by AIE research (2012-2021). Bars of lighter color on both sides of the panel indicate the scholarly output for each research areas; bars of deeper color on the left indicate the output of the research areas by AIE research, and bars of deeper color on the right indicate the output citing AIE research. Source: Scopus

View larger imageopens in new tab/window

sub-field knowledge flow infographic

Academic-Corporate Collaboration

Annual trend of AIE patent filings, including inactive patents, globally (patent search date 7/21/2022). There is an average two-year delay between patent filing and publication. The data in the figure are an estimate and are likely to be significantly smaller than the actual data. Source: LexisNexis® PatentSight®

View larger imageopens in new tab/window

academic-corporate collaboration infographic

Academic collaboration

Top 10 institutions by international/regional collaboration output and scholarly impact in AIE research (2012-2021). Source: Scopus

View larger imageopens in new tab/window

academic collaboration infographics

Funding Analysis

Top 12 government agencies that supported AIE research by publication output in the world (2012-2021). Source: Scopus

View larger imageopens in new tab/window

Client feedback

funding analysis infographic

Research trends and impact report on the field of Aggregation-Induced Emission (AIE) 2010-2021 summarizes the performance, transformation, and development trend of AIE research from different perspectives with the help of Elsevier's large databases and presents a panoramic view of the development of AIE research in the form of bibliometric analysis. In the past two decades, AIE research has developed rapidly and achieved a lot. This report is a tour of the 20-year journey of AIE research, which objectively shows the metamorphosis and transformation of AIE research from quantity to quality from the analysis of the breadth, advancement, and cross-cutting nature of research coverage. This report is a reference value for front-line researchers and leaders and a guide for the strategic planning of AIE research for industry transformation.

Ben Zhong Tang

Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Deng Presidential Chair Professor and Dean at School of Science and Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.

Ben Zhong Tang