Hidden imaging in thin polymer films with embedded fluorescent peptide nanodots

Paul Rosenbaum, Hani Barhom, Alexandra Inberg, Igor Lapsker, Gil Rosenman, Boris Apter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Fluorescent (FL) encrypting nanostructures, such as quantum dots, carbon dots, organic dyes, lanthanide nanocrystals, DNA, and more, are effective tools for advanced applications in high-resolution hidden imaging. These applications include tracking, labeling, security printing, and anti-counterfeiting drug technology. In this work, what we believe to be a new FL encoding nanostructures has been proposed, which consists of recently discovered nanometer-scale peptide dots. When refolded into a beta-sheet peptide secondary structure, these biocompatible nanoparticles exhibit a strong and tunable FL effect. The biophotonic FL covers the entire visible spectrum, making the peptide dots next-generation nanoscale light sources with a quantum yield of 30%. Our studies demonstrate that these FL bio-nanodots also exhibit a significant irreversible photo-bleaching effect associated with the light-induced destruction of noncovalent intermolecular hydrogen bonds of the peptide dots’ highly stable beta-sheet secondary structure. We present what we believe is a new approach for achieving high-resolution long-term optical memory by tailoring various hidden images in the developed thin polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) polymer films with an embedded dense array of FL peptide nanodots. The technology enables recording photo-bleached patterns, barcodes, and high-resolution images.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4485-4497
Number of pages13
JournalOptics Express
Issue number3
StatePublished - 29 Jan 2024


FundersFunder number
Ministry of Science and Technology, Israel12483, 15641


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