Sustainable afterglow materials from lignin inspired by wood phosphorescence

Jingwen Yuan, Yingxiang Zhai, Keliang Wan, Shouxin Liu, Jian Li, Shujun Li, Zhijun Chen, Tony D. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (SciVal)


Sustainable organic afterglow room-temperature phosphorescence (RTP) is a particularly attractive phenomenon but remains difficult to achieve. Herein, inspired by the afterglow RTP of natural basswood, we prepare a series of sustainable afterglow RTP materials by confining lignin within a 3D poly(acrylic acid) network that mimics the wood matrix. The RTP emission of these materials could be finely tuned either by varying the drying temperature or the crosslinking density. Afterglow RTP emission could also be produced by embedding different types of lignin in a variety of 3D polymeric networks, thus demonstrating the generality of our strategy for preparing sustainable lignin-based RTP materials. As an illustration of potential applications, the lignin-based RTP materials are used to coat cotton fibers, which are then incorporated into luminescent textiles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100542
JournalCell Reports Physical Science
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2021


  • lignin RTP materials
  • RTP of natural wood
  • sustainability
  • tunable lifetime

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Energy(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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