We have studied the temperature dependence of photoluminescence (PL) in several common polymers, such as low-density polyethylene, polycarbonate, acrylic, polypropylene, polystyrene, and polyurethane. We found a pronounced temperature dependence of the photoluminescence peak in all polymers. Emission intensity was found to increase as temperature decreased but at different rates for different polymers. Acrylic was found to have the strongest increase, and its temperature range was extended down to 5 K. Below 77 K, its PL intensity was found to saturate to a constant value. The analysis of the data indicates that in all studied polymers the PL intensity at all measured temperatures can be described with the Arrhenius formula. From the best fits of the data, the activation energy was extracted for all studied polymers. Our results might have implications for the low temperature applications of these common polymers.
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