Structural materials with afterglow room temperature phosphorescence activated by lignin oxidation

Keliang Wan, Bing Tian, Yingxiang Zhai, Yuxuan Liu, He Wang, Shouxin Liu, Shujun Li, Wenpeng Ye, Zhongfu An, Changzhi Li, Jian Li, Tony D. James, Zhijun Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (SciVal)


Sustainable afterglow room temperature phosphorescence (RTP) materials, especially afterglow RTP structural materials, are crucial but remain difficult to achieve. Here, an oxidation strategy is developed to convert lignin to afterglow materials with a lifetime of ~ 408 ms. Specifically, lignin is oxidized to give aromatic chromophores and fatty acids using H2O2. The aromatic chromophores are locked by a fatty acid-based matrix by hydrogen bonds, triggering enhanced spin orbit coupling and long afterglow emission. More interestingly, motivated by this discovery, an auto fabrication line is built to convert wood (natural structural materials) to wood with afterglow RTP emission (RTP wood) via in situ oxidation of naturally-occurring lignin located in the wood cell walls to oxidized lignin (OL). The as-prepared RTP wood exhibits great potential for the construction of sustainable afterglow furniture. With this research we provide a new strategy to promote the sustainability of afterglow RTP materials and structural materials.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5508
Number of pages1
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sept 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • General
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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