Irreversible Solvatochromic Zn-Nanopaper Based on Zn(II) Terpyridine Assembly and Oxidized Nanofibrillated Cellulose

Zhao Zhang*, Meng Zhang, Xinping Li, Kecheng Li, Xingqiang Lü, Yaoyu Wang, Xunjin ZHU

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


A new irreversible solvatochromic Zn-nanopaper has been produced through the coordination-driven assembly of Zn(II)-terpyridine complex (Zn-tpy) on the surface of 2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidine-1-oxyl (TEMPO)-oxidized cellulose nanofibril (tCNF). The Zn-tpy as a photoactive center exhibits a changed emission color from greenish-blue to yellow after coordination with the carboxylate anion on the surface of tCNF. Theoretic calculations support that the longer wavelength emission is the result of a metal-ligand charge transfer. When exposed to solvents and then dried, the coordination bond between the Zn-tpy and tCNF experienced a dynamic, reversible process, where the lowest-energy excited state emitted by the Zn-tpy was "inverted", which is a typical phenomenon of irreversible solvatochromism. The shifts of the emission colors of the Zn-nanopaper appeared result from its exposure to specific solvents and occurred in a matter of minutes. After solvent exposure, it was found that the emission colors of the nanopaper are not recovered to its original state. The different emissive Zn-nanopapers are easily prepared by post-processing using a solvatochromic process. This highly transparent Zn-nanopaper with post-processable emission offers unprecedented potential applications in the areas of memory devices, fluorescent switches, and organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11614-11623
Number of pages10
JournalACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

User-Defined Keywords

  • Coordination-triggered assembly
  • Oxidized nanofibrillated cellulose
  • Post-processing of fluorescence
  • Transparent nanopaper
  • Zn(II)-Terpyridine


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