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Title: Photochromism of a Spiropyran in Low-Temperature Matrices: Unprecedented Bidirectional Switching between a Merocyanine and an Allene Intermediate
Authors: Nunes, Cláudio M 
Pereira, Nelson A M 
Fausto, Rui 
Issue Date: 14-Apr-2022
Publisher: American Chemical Society
Project: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/POCI-01-0145-FEDER-028973/PT 
Serial title, monograph or event: The Journal of Physical Chemistry A
Volume: 126
Issue: 14
Abstract: Photochromism of spiropyrans has attracted much attention due to its potential in many light-controlled system applications. However, several fundamental aspects regarding the structure, energetics, and mechanistic details of the transformations of spiropyrans are still not well understood. Here, we report the study of the photochromism of a 6-hydroxy-spiropyran (HBPS) under conditions of matrix isolation, where monomers of the compound are frozen in a solidified noble gas (krypton, at 15 K). The structure of the matrix-isolated HBPS was first elucidated by infrared (IR) spectroscopy supported by density functional theory computations. Then, the photochromism of HBPS, from the colorless spiropyran to the colored merocyanine, was induced by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation at 310 nm. The analysis of the IR spectrum of the photoproduced species revealed the exclusive formation of the most stable merocyanine MC-TTC stereoisomer. Subsequent visible-light (550 nm) irradiation of MC-TTC generated a new colorless allenic isomeric species ALN, where the UV irradiation (310 nm) of ALN was found to convert this species back to MC-TTC. This constitutes an unprecedented bidirectional transformation between a colored merocyanine and a colorless allene species. The newly observed photoswitching reaction (or photochromism) occurs along an intramolecular hydrogen bond existing in both merocyanine and allenic species, thus suggesting that it might be generally feasible in the chemistry of spiropyrans. On the other hand, the usual assumption that, as a general rule, merocyanines photochemically revert to spiropyrans is not supported in this work.
ISSN: 1089-5639
DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpca.2c01105
Rights: embargoedAccess
Appears in Collections:I&D CQC - Artigos em Revistas Internacionais

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