Strategies for Switching with Visible Light

  • David Bléger
  • Stefan Hecht


Molecular photoswitches, which are able to reversibly interconvert between (at least) two (meta) stable isomers upon exposure to light, are key elements for the development of photo-responsive systems that offer promising perspectives in the materials and life sciences. One current limitation in the design of functional photo-responsive systems is the need to induce switching at least in one direction by UV light, which penetrates only partially through most media and instead leads to degradation. In this chapter, we provide a summary of the different conceptual strategies to operate molecular photoswitches solely in the visible and near-infrared regions of the optical spectrum. The covered visible light-activated molecular switches and the highlighted conceptual approaches will decisively advance the field of photo-switchable systems and facilitate their implementation into future applications and technologies.


Photoswitches Photochromism Optical control Visible light Stimuli-responsive systems 



D.B. acknowledges generous support by the German Research Foundation (DFG via BL 1269/1-1), and S.H. is grateful to the European Research Council (ERC via ERC-2012-STG_308117 ‘‘Light4Function’’).


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© Springer Japan KK 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ChemistryHumboldt Universität zu BerlinBerlinGermany

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