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Organic Nanoparticulate Photochromes

[ Vol. 17 , Issue. 16 ]


Tivadar Feczko and Bojana Voncina   Pages 1771 - 1789 ( 19 )


Photochromic organic dyes can be widely used in materials for optically rewritable data storage, photonic switches, memories, sensors, or actuators. In recent years photochromic materials based on nanoparticles became particularly focused, since they can be dispersed in colloidal aqueous suspensions or incorporated in thin films, avoiding problems of light scattering or shallow light penetration in bulk materials. Spiropyrans, spirooxazines and diarylethenes were by far the most researched photochromes in nanoparticulate systems. Great effort was made to investigate photochromic dyes incorporated into organic nanoparticles via self-assembly strategies, covalent linkage or dispersion of the molecular species in polymers (doping). Nanoparticles composed of solely photochromic dyes were prepared by laser ablation and reprecipitation techniques. Photochromic dyes were microencapsulated by self-assembly, soap free-, emulsion/ microemulsion/miniemulsion or free radical- (co)polymerization. Sol-gel processing from silane precursors to poly(organo)siloxane matrix is a common method to synthesize doped or core-shell photochromic organogels. Colored forms of some photochromes display fluorescence; however, a more effective strategy for fluorescence modulation with photochromic molecules is integrating them, covalently or noncovalently, with a separate fluorophore in the same nanoparticles. These photoresponsive nanoparticles may find applications particularly in biological fields such as cell labelling and bioimaging. The purpose of this review is to summarize the preparation methods of organic nanoparticles containing photochromic dyes and to investigate their typical properties derived from their nanoparticulate character.


Photochromic nanoparticle, Laser ablation, Reprecipitation, Polymerization, Doping, Fluorescence


Research Institute of Chemical and Process Engineering, Faculty of Information Technology, University of Pannonia, Egyetem u. 10., H-8200, Veszprém, Hungary.

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