Deciphering Limitations to Meet Highly Stable Bio-Hybrid Light-Emitting Diodes

Verónica Fernández-Luna, Daniel Sánchez-de Alcázar, Juan P. Fernández-Blázquez, Aitziber L. Cortajarena, Pedro B. Coto, Rubén D. Costa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Color down-converting filters with fluorescent proteins (FPs) embedded in a polymer matrix have led to new bio-hybrid light-emitting diodes (Bio-HLEDs), featuring stabilities of 100 h and <1 min at low and high applied currents, respectively. Herein, the FP deactivation mechanism in Bio-HLEDs at high driving currents is deciphered. Primarily, the nonradiative energy relaxation of FPs upon excitation promotes the release of excess energy to the polymer matrix, reaching 60 °C and, in turn, a significant thermal emission quenching. This is circumvented by changing the device architecture, achieving stabilities of >300 h at high driving currents. Here, the photoinduced deactivation mechanism takes place, consisting of a slow and reversible partial dehydration followed by a quick and irreversible deactivation of the highly emissive ionic form. This is supported by steady-state/time-resolved emission, circular dichroism, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopic techniques. Overall, the limitations of Bio-HLEDs concerning matrix, buffers, device design, and FP stability are highlighted as key aspects to achieve efficient and stable devices.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1904356
JournalAdvanced Functional Materials
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Oct 1


  • bio-hybrid light-emitting diodes
  • color down-converting filters
  • fluorescent proteins
  • hybrid light-emitting diodes
  • thermal and photo-deactivation mechanisms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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