Micro-environmental fine-tuning of electronic and kinetic properties of photochromic dyes

Jamie Whelan, Dalia Abdallah, James Wojtyk, Erwin Buncel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite the recognition of the importance of Spiropyran (SP)-Merocyanine (MC) photochromic materials in molecular switching, the majority of studies have been reported in solution with relatively few in the solid-state as required in modern displays and other devices. In contrast, the present work bridges solution, condensed phase and solid-phase media and is to our knowledge the first micro-environmental study on electronic and kinetic effects for the SP-MC system. Expanding on our previous work we have investigated the photochromic properties of an SP molecule (1b) attached to a 100 μm commercially available polystyrene micro-particle (Wang Resin). The thermal MC → SP reversion kinetics (5a,b → 4a,b and 2a,b → 1a,b) which reflect the critical lifetime of the open MC form were measured. Reduction in kobs of thermal reversion, MC → SP, up to two orders of magnitude, and a blue-shift up to 58 nm was observed with the potential for tailoring or fine tuning. The use of polymeric micro-particles in controlling both electronic and kinetic properties of photochromic molecular switches has been highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5727-5735
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry
Issue number27
StatePublished - Jul 21 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Materials Chemistry


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