Photochromic switching of fluorescence emission provides a viable principle to creation of all optical molecular memory. Successful operation of the fluorescence memory requires deliberate control of the energetics between a fluorophore and a photochrome. One essential requirement is that photoexcitation for fluorescence emission does not interfere with the photochromic processes. Gallium(III) corrole complexes outfit the condition because their fluorescence emissions display large Stokes shifts, permitting photoexcitation at the optical window where the photochromism of cis-1,2-dithienylethene is not executed. To demonstrate the capability for fluorescence memory, we prepared molecularly dispersed poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) films of a gallium corrole complex and cis-1,2-dithienylethene. The memory cycle comprising fluorescence readout and reversible photochromic switching of the fluorescence emission is fully reversible without suffering from fatigue during repeated operation. The corresponding fluorescence on/off ratio is greater than those of previous memory based on porphyrins. Fluorescence lifetime measurements employing time-correlated single photon counting techniques reveal occurrence of fast energy transfer (109 s-1) which is effectively gated by the photochromism.
- energy transfer
- fluorescence memory