Photoswitching of diarylethene polymers synthesized by TEMPO mediated polymerization

Eunkyoung Kim, Song Yoon Cho, Kwang Hyun Ahn

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Optical and refractive index switching properties of diarylethene containing copolymers were studied. Polymers having different block distribution were synthesized from a controlled polymerization via living free radical method using ethyl α-2,2,6,6-tetramethylpiperidinyl-1-oxy-phenylacetate (ETEMPO) as an initiator. The diarylethene containing copolymers exhibited high thermal stability without loss of diarylethene unit up to 350°C. Photochromic films, having photochromic interconversion between colorless and red colored forms by UV and Vis laser sources, were prepared from the copolymers by solution coating method. The photochromic response of the copolymer was dependent on the distribution of diarylethene in the polymer and weight-average molecular weight (M ω) of the polymers. Thus films of copolymers having random distribution of diarylethene showed larger photochromic absorbance change (ΔA) and photo induced refractive index change (Δn) as compared to that of block copolymer. The photochromic response was larger in a film of a random copolymer with lower Mw. Large all optically controllable refractive index switching (Δn ∼ 0.01) was achieved from the diarylethene copolymers, accompanied by photochromic interconversion between colorless and red colored forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-145
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular Crystals and Liquid Crystals
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Keywords: block; controlled polymerization; diarylethene copolymers; photochromic; random; refractive index switching This work was supported by MOST of Korea under the National Research Laboratory program and the grant from Yonsei University.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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