Poly(dithienylethene-alt-1,4-divinylenephenylene)s: Increasing the Molecular Weights in Diarylethene Photochromic Polymers


  • We gratefully acknowledge funding from the Nanotechnology Program of CNR (Italy) and the Italian Scientific and Technological Research Ministry through MIUR 2001 Project. Special thanks also to F. Stellacci for providing the voltammetric measurements.


Thermally irreversible, photochromic dithienylethene-alt-dihexyloxyphenylenevinylene and dithienylethene-alt-didodecyloxyphenylenevinylene copolymers have been synthesized via the Horner and Wittig reactions, respectively. Both polymers are photochromic in solution and in the solid state. Electronic spectra show that the materials are highly conjugated in both states and the large π-delocalization along the main chain when the diarylethene moiety is in the closed form gives a decrease of the ring-opening quantum yield. The increase in molecular weight relative to other backbone dithienylethene polymers allows the preparation of good quality films without the use of supporting polymer matrices; this is an important achievement for the technological application of these photochromic materials.