Optical switching of a photochromic bis-phenylazo compound in PMMA films
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We present our results on a newly synthesized bis-phenylazo derivative, namely bisperfluoroalkylsulfonylamino- arylazomethylene-triphenyl-phosphorane (BAM-TPP). Thin films of BAM-TPP in polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) matrix were prepared. The films (thickness, d < 60 μm) were exposed to UV-vis light with variable intensity in order to stimulate the photochromic reaction of BAM-TPP. The resulting absorption changes of the BAM-TPP/PMMA films were investigated by spectrophotometry. The absorption spectra reveal that BAM-TPP molecules in PMMA undergo photoisomerization with resulting decrease of absorbance in the range 500–700 nm. Finally, the time response of film transmittance at 514 nm under increasing CW light intensity was recorded, showing that the reverse photochromic process brings the absorbance back to its pristine value. The obtained films thus proved to be suitable for optical switching applications.
KeywordsPMMA Azobenzene Optical Switching Incident Power Intramolecular Proton Transfer
S. Macri at the Instituto Superiore di Sanità (Rome, Italy) is gratefully acknowledged for helpful discussion. This work was supported by EU NoE Phoremost.
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