Recently, the latest research result “Natural ultralong hemicelluloses phosphorescence” Professor. Peng Feng and his team from College of Material Science and Technology of Beijing Forestry University was published in Cell Reports Physical Science , a premium open access journal from Cell Press, which aroused great concern in the field. in addition, the result was highlighted in the “research highlights” of the August 2022 issue of Nature in the title of “Paper-mill waste that glows in the dark”, and only 300-400 outstanding achievements will be selected into the “research highlights” of Nature every year.
Artificial materials exhibiting ultralong organic phosphorescence (UOP), especially those with tunable multicolor afterglow, are hindered by complicated synthesis and purification, poor processability, and issues relating to sustainability. Here, we report natural hemicelluloses that provide excitation- and time-dependent color-tunable afterglow. In particular, linear xylan with high crystallinity exhibits a long lifetime of 588.8 ms under ambient conditions, not inferior to many artificial phosphors, and has achieved industrial production. Mechanistic study shows that the tunable UOP can be ascribed to various clusters of oxygen groups fixed within a rigid polysaccharide environment. The distinguishable color evolution and duration of afterglow are useful for anticounterfeiting and data encryption with high security levels. Furthermore, body-shaped foams with a lifetime up to approximately 700 ms and flexible, transparent, and high-strength phosphorescence film can also be fabricated using water-soluble oxidized xylan. These results unambiguously state that hemicellulose-based UOP materials are convincingly promising to replace and surpass artificial phosphors.
Paper link: https://www.cell.com/cell-reports-physical-science/fulltext/S2666-3864(22)00306-X
Nature Highlights link：https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-022-02281-y