Prof. Dr. Herbert Meier
Stilbenoid compounds and light: the details of the photophysical and chemical principles are still hardly understood, even for the apparently simple process of the Z/E isomerization of stilbenes. That, however, does not stand in the way of the increasing number of industrial uses for the optical, electrical, and optoelectrical properties of these compounds. Applications of derivatives of the diaminostilbene disulfonic acid as optical brighteners, for example for textiles, began in the forties. More recent applications already exploited or in development are found in the fields of laser dyes, optical information storage, photo-conductors, and photo-crosslinked polymers. Parallel to these developments, methods such as laser spectroscopy in the pico- and femtosecond ranges are yielding new information on the fundamentals of the processes.