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Free Content Photochemistry of photochromic benzopyrans studied by timeresolved absorption spectroscopy

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Photochromic reactions of 2H-benzopyrans have been extensively studied to design new materials for commercial applications such as optical memories. Photochromism of 2H-benzopyrans proceeds from a C–O bond cleavage of the colorless closed form to give the colored open forms, which can thermally revert back to the original closed form. From time-resolved absorption spectroscopy, the ring opening of 2H-benzopyrans, 2,4-diphenyland 2,2,4-triphenyl-2H-benzopyran, is found to occur via the excited singlet state within 2 ps to produce vibrationally excited open forms in the ground electronic state. In the subnanosecond to submillisecond time domain, several decay components are observed. These components are assigned to respective stereoisomers with respect to two double bonds and one single bond of the open enone forms. As revealed from pump-laser power dependencies of the yields of the open forms, the photocleavage of the benzopyran molecules gives at first only the open forms revertible to the closed form by a single-bond rotation, and the photoexcitation of the first generated open forms gives rise to other open forms that need a doublebond rotation for reversion to the original closed form. Such a two-step two-photon photochromism can be expected to have a wide range of application.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Institute of Molecular Science, Myodaiji, Okazaki 444-8585, Japan

Publication date: 2001-05-15

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