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J Am Chem Soc. 2009 Aug 12;131(31):10838-9. doi: 10.1021/ja904746s.

Remote-control photoswitching using NIR light.

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  • 14D LABS, Department of Chemistry, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1S6.


Near-infrared (NIR) light is used to toggle photoswitches back and forth between their two isomers even though the chromophores do not significantly absorb this type of light. The reactions are achieved through a "remote control" process by using photon upconverting hexagonal NaYF(4) nanocrystals doped with lanthanide ions. These nanoparticles absorb 980 nm light and convert it to wavelengths that can be used to trigger the photoswitches offering a practical means to potentially achieve 3D-data storage, drug-delivery, and photolithography.

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