A General Approach for All-visible-light Switching of Diarylethenes through Triplet Sensitization using Semiconducting Nanocrystals
Coupling semiconducting nanocrystals (NCs) with organic molecules provides an efficient route to generate and transfer triplet excitons. These excitons can be used to power photochemical transformations such as photoisomerization reactions using low energy radiation. Thus, it is desirable to develop a general approach that can efficiently be used to control photoswitches using all-visible-light aiming at future applications in life- and material sciences. Here, we demonstrate a simple
... strategy that can achieve all-visible-light switchable diarylethenes (DAEs) through triplet energy transfer from the hybrid of CdS NCs and phenanthrene-3-carboxylic acid, with high photoisomerization efficiency and improved fatigue resistance. The size-tunable excitation energies of CdS NCs make it possible to precisely match the corresponding energy of the relevant DAE photoswitch. We demonstrate reversible all-visible-light photoisomerization of a series of DAE derivatives both in the liquid and solid state, even in the presence of oxygen. Our general strategy is promising for fabrication of all-visible-light activated optoelectronic devices as well as memories, and should in principle be adaptable to photopharmacology.