Photon upconverting bioplastics with high efficiency and in-air durability

Pankaj Bharmoria, Shota Hisamitsu, Yoichi Sasaki, Tejwant Singh Kang, Masa-aki Morikawa, Biplab Joarder, Kasper Moth-Poulsen, Hakan Bildirir, Anders Martensson, Nobuhiro Yanai, Nobuo Kimizuka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


There is an urgent demand for substituting synthetic plastics to bioplastics for sustainable renewable energy production. Here, we report a simple one-step approach to create bioplastics with efficient and durable photon upconversion (UC) by encapsulating non-volatile chromophore solutions into collagen-based protein films. By just drying an aqueous solution of gelatin, surfactant, and UC chromophores (sensitizer and annihilator), liquid surfactant microdroplets containing the UC chromophores are spontaneously confined within the gelatin films. Thanks to the high fluidity of microdroplets and the good oxygen barrier ability of the collagen-based fiber matrices, a high absolute TTA–UC efficiency of 15.6% and low threshold excitation intensity of 14.0 mW cm−2 are obtained even in air. The TTA–UC efficiency was retained up to 8.2% after 2 years of storage under ambient conditions, hence displaying the significant durability desired for practical applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11655-11661
Number of pages7
Issue number35
StatePublished - Feb 9 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-09-27
Acknowledgements: This work was partly supported by JSPS KAKENHI (grant numbers JP20H02713, JP20K21211, JP20H05676, JP16H06513, and JP18J21140), the Sumitomo Foundation, the Ogasawara Foundation, and the Innovation inspired by Nature Program of Sekisui Chemical Co. Ltd. P. B., T. S. K. and B. J. acknowledge the JSPS fellowships for foreign researchers. P. B. also acknowledges Marie Skłodowska-Curie-European Commission Post Doc Grant Number 844972-NIRLAMS-H2020-MSCA-IF-2018. Anna Peterson and Fredrik Edhborg from Chalmers University of Technology are acknowledged for assisting the DMA and temperature-dependent UC measurements.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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