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Transmission Spectroscopy and Kinetics in Crystalline Solids Using Aqueous Nanocrystalline Suspensions: The Spiropyran-Merocyanine Photochromic System

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journal contribution
posted on 04.01.2017, 00:00 by Vanessa M. Breslin, Miguel A. Garcia-Garibay
A comparison of the solution and solid state thermal decay kinetics of five photochromic spiropyrans with different N-alkyl groups (SP1SP5) was carried out in acetonitrile and nanocrystalline suspensions at 298 K. The change in absorbance at ca. 550 nm was measured as a function of time for the merocyanine (MC) using transmission UV–vis spectroscopy. We found that the thermal decay kinetics are slower and follow a biexponential decay in the solid state compared to a faster, monoexponential decay that was measured in solution. We observed that, while the kinetic range measured in solution varies by a factor of 13, the decay kinetics in the solid state cover a range of ca. 150, indicating that crystal packing has an influence much greater than that of the effects of N-alkyl substitution. A fluorescence analysis of irradiated samples of SP1 in solution could be used to determine the formation of the MC species and its subsequent decay. By contrast, a similar analysis of nanocrystalline suspensions displayed changes as a function of time that are consistent with self-quenching.