Diarylethene (DAE) photoswitch is a new and promising family of photochromic molecules and has shown superior performance as a smart trigger in stimulus-responsive materials. During the past few decades, the DAE family has achieved a leap from simple molecules to functional molecules and developed toward validity as a universal switching building block. In recent years, the introduction of DAE into an assembly system has been an attractive strategy that enables the photochromic behavior of the building blocks to be manifested at the level of the entire system, beyond the DAE unit itself. This assembly-based strategy will bring many unexpected results that promote the design and manufacture of a new generation of advanced materials. Here, recent advances in the design and fabrication of diarylethene as a trigger in materials science, chemistry, and biomedicine are reviewed.
- stimulus-responsive materials