Synthesis of Photochromic Compounds for Aqueous Solutions and Focusable Light

Authors

  • Svetlana M. Polyakova,

    1. Department of NanoBiophotonics, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany, Fax: +49-551-2012505
    2. Present address: Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry AS CR, v.v.i., Flemingovo n. 2, 16610 Prague 6, Czech Republic
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  • Vladimir N. Belov,

    1. Department of NanoBiophotonics, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany, Fax: +49-551-2012505
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  • Mariano L. Bossi,

    1. Department of NanoBiophotonics, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany, Fax: +49-551-2012505
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  • Stefan W. Hell

    1. Department of NanoBiophotonics, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Am Fassberg 11, 37077 Göttingen, Germany, Fax: +49-551-2012505
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Abstract

Photochromic compounds with improved performance in pure water have been prepared and characterized. They possess an asymmetrical and extended conjugation system with a 1,2-bis(3-thienyl)perfluorocyclopentene core, additional thiophene rings connected with sulfonic acid residues, as well as terminal pyrid-4-yl and 4-alkoxyphenyl groups. A multistep synthetic route to a key compound with an amino group required for further derivatization has been developed. The complete photocyclization reaction of the initial “open ring” compound (with absorption maximum at 340 nm in MeOH or water) can be performed with a diode laser in pure water or aqueous buffer solutions (without added organic solvents) under irradiation at 366–375 nm, and the reverse ring-opening reaction of the colored “closed ring” compound (λmax = 628 or 624 nm in MeOH or water) takes place under irradiation with visible green or red light (>500 nm). Building block 57, with a secondary amino group, can further be used in the synthesis of practically important, reversibly switchable, fluorescent compounds in which the fluorescent dye (donor) is attached to a photochromic unit (acceptor), and the resonant energy transfer from a donor to the colored form of an acceptor provides a reversible quenching of the fluorescence signal in aqueous solutions.

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