Photochromic fluorescence switching from diarylethenes and its applications

Chijung Yun, Jungmok You, Jeonghun Kim, June Huh, Eunkyoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

286 Citations (Scopus)


The review describes the photochromic and fluorescent characteristics of various diarylethene (DAET) derivatives, and presents recent research into their applications. This comprises a discussion of the optical characteristics of some DAET-based molecules exhibiting red, green, or blue (RGB) colors or fluorescence. Molecular calculations of the optical properties of DAET interpret intriguing experimental observations and predict photochemical or photophysical properties. In particular, stabilization of HOMO in the BTFOn (n = 1, 2, 3, 4) increases the energy difference between the HOMO and the LUMO, which leads to the blue-shift of absorption and emission bands as the number of oxygen attached to sulfur (n) increases. Various devices and application studies have been designed as photon-mode systems based on photochemical control of the fluorescence energy. The photochromic DAET materials have shown promise as optical data storage, switching devices, and biological applications such as the development of biomaterial sensors, analysis of biological dynamics, and live cell imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-129
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Photochemistry and Photobiology C: Photochemistry Reviews
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the Korea Science and Engineering Foundation (KOSEF) grant funded by the Korea government (MEST) (No. R11-2007-050-01001-0).


  • Bioapplications
  • Diarylethene
  • Fluorescence
  • Optical memory
  • Photochromism
  • Photoswitching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry


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