Peptide assembly assisted triplet–triplet annihilation photon upconversion in non-deoxygenated water†
Triplet–triplet annihilation upconversion (TTA-UC) has great potential in many fields. However, a stable TTA-UC system with adjustable UC efficiency in non-deoxygenated water is still in urgent demand. Here, the first example of short peptide-tuned UC luminescence in water is reported. With only a small amount of peptides, UC chromophores can assemble into tetrahedral microrods with adjustable size and UC efficiency. Successful TTA-UC luminescence of these microrods in water is achieved due to the regular and dense organization of molecular upconversion chromophores tuned by peptides, which allows rapid triplet exciton migration, avoids aggregation-induced quenching and screens molecular oxygen to upconversion chromophores.