Daylight-Active cellulose nanocrystals containing anthraquinone structures

Yiwen Zhu, Audrey Sulkanen, Gang Yu Liu, Gang Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Antimicrobial and antiviral materials have attracted significant interest in recent years due to increasing occurrences of nosocomial infections and pathogenic microbial contamination. One method to address this is the combination of photoactive compounds that can produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), such as hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals to disinfect microbes, with carrier materials that meet the application requirements. Using anthraquinone (AQ) and cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) as the photoactive and carrier components, respectively, this work demonstrated the first covalent incorporation of AQ onto CNCs. The morphology and the photoactive properties were investigated, revealing the structural integrity of the CNCs and the high degree of photoactivity of the AQ-CNC materials upon UVA exposure. The AQ-CNCs also exhibited an unexpected persistent generation of ROS under darkness, which adds advantages for antimicrobial applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3547
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2020


  • Anthraquinone
  • Atomic force microscopy
  • Cellulose nanocrystal
  • FTIR
  • Reactive oxygen species

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)


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