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DNA Inspirited Rational Construction of Nonconventional Luminophores with Efficient and Color-Tunable Afterglow

submitted on 01.02.2020 and posted on 03.02.2020 by Yunzhong Wang, Saixing Tang, Yating Wen, Shuyuan Zheng, Bing Yang, Wang Zhang Yuan
Persistent room-temperature phosphorescence (p-RTP) from pure organics is attractive
due to its fundamental importance and potential applications in molecular imaging,
sensing, encryption, anticounterfeiting, etc.1-4 Recently, efforts have been also made in
obtaining color-tunable p-RTP in aromatic phosphors5 and nonconjugated polymers6,7.
The origin of color-tunable p-RTP and the rational design of such luminogens,
particularly those with explicit structure and molecular packing, remain challenging.
Noteworthily, nonconventional luminophores without significant conjugations generally
possess excitation-dependent photoluminescence (PL) because of the coexistence of
diverse clustered chromophores6,8, which strongly implicates the possibility to achieve
color-tunable p-RTP from their molecular crystals assisted by effective intermolecular
interactions. Here, inspirited by the highly stable double-helix structure and multiple
hydrogen bonds in DNA, we reported a series of nonconventional luminophores based on
hydantoin (HA), which demonstrate excitation-dependent PL and color-tunable p-RTP
from sky-blue to yellowish-green, accompanying unprecedentedly high PL and p-RTP
efficiencies of up to 87.5% and 21.8%, respectively. Meanwhile, the p-RTP emissions are
resistant to vigorous mechanical grinding, with lifetimes of up to 1.74 s. Such robust,
color-tunable and highly efficient p-RTP render the luminophores promising for varying
applications. These findings provide mechanism insights into the origin of color-tunable
p-RTP, and surely advance the exploitation of efficient nonconventional luminophores.


the National Nature Science Foundation of China (51822303 and 51473092)


Email Address of Submitting Author


Shanghai Jiao Tong University



ORCID For Submitting Author


Declaration of Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interests.