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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Sep 9;131(35):12623-7. doi: 10.1021/ja9016655.

Near-infrared continuous-wave light driving a two-photon photochromic reaction with the assistance of localized surface plasmon.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, Graduate School of Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810, Japan.


We demonstrate that a photochromic reaction can be driven by irradiation from a weak, near-infrared continuous-wave (NIR-CW) laser light. A two-photon ring-opening photochromic reaction of a diarylethene (DE) derivative can be induced by irradiation with a NIR-CW laser light (lambda = 808 nm). An ultrathin polymer film doped with DE in its closed form was coated onto a gold-nanoparticle-integrated glass substrate. Upon irradiation of the sample with a CW laser at low fluence (0.1-4.0 W/cm(2)), we could clearly observe bleaching of the DE (ring-opening reaction). Following the IR irradiation, the bleached absorption could be reversibly recovered by applying UV irradiation (ring-closing reaction). We verified that the yield of the photochromic ring-opening reaction of the DE was proportional to the square of the irradiation fluence. The origin of this NIR-CW-induced two-photon photochromic reaction is an "enhancing effect" that acts on the electromagnetic field (localized surface plasmon) of the gold nanoparticles. The DE interacts with the surface plasmon and receives energy from two photons, which excites it to a state from which the ring-opening reaction can be initiated.

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