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Photochromic Reaction by Red Light via Triplet Fusion Upconversion

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posted on 25.10.2019, 16:38 by Ayako Tokunaga, Lucas Martinez Uriarte, Katsuya Mutoh, Eduard Fron, Johan Hofkens, Michel Sliwa, Jiro Abe
Red or near-infrared (NIR) light responsive molecules have received much attention for biological and material applications because potentially harmful UV light for materials and cells is not required for the photochemical reactions. Although some molecular designs for photochromic molecules to increase the photosensitivity to red or NIR light have been reported, the strategies are limited to the extension of π-conjugation length and the utilization of charge transfer transition or energy and electron transfers. Triplet fusion is an attractive tool to cause chemical reactions by converting low-energy excitation light to high-energy upconversion light. However, the efficient use of the high energy of upconversion light is difficult because almost all reported triplet fusion systems rely on reabsorption of upconversion light. Here, we demonstrated red-light-driven photochromism via the triplet fusion of a phenoxyl–imidazolyl radical complex, Pery-RPIC, that has a covalently bonded perylene as an annihilator unit. The femtosecond time-resolved absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy revealed that this photochromic reaction proceeds by the highly efficient singlet energy transfer from the annihilator unit to the photochromic unit. This strategy can be applied not only to the development of visible and NIR light responsive photochromic system but also to various photochemical reactions.

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