Aggregation-induced emission of a 2D protein supramolecular nanofilm with emergent functions†
Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) of a 2D protein supramolecular nanofilm exhibiting multiple functions is achieved for the first time at the air/water interface or on a solid surface at a timescale of several minutes. The mixture of lysozyme, tris(2-carboxyethyl)phosphine (TCEP) and 9,10-distyrylanthracene with two ammonium groups (DSAI) results in the rapid synthesis of a phase-transited lysozyme (PTL) AIE nanofilm, coating or ink from a neutral aqueous solution at room temperature. The multifunctionality of these waterborne biocompatible DSAI@PTL AIE materials shows some potential applications such as anti-bacterial and anti-counterfeiting for edible items or living creatures. This strategy combines the advantages of AIE with a 2D biopolymer suprastructure and provides an eco-friendly interfacial material with biological functions and applications. By introducing versatile AIE molecules with different functions and emission, the development of optically active biomimic materials with a wide range of applications could be opened up, such as multi-colour polymer coatings.