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Giant Amplification of Photoswitching by a Few Photons in Fluorescent Photochromic Organic Nanoparticles.

Su, J., Fukaminato, T., Placial, J. P., Onodera, T., Suzuki, R., Oikawa, H., ... &Métivier, R. (2016). AngewandteChemie.

Controlling or switching the optical signal from a large collection of molecules with the minimum of photons represents an extremely attractive concept. Promising fundamental and practical applications may be derived from such a photon-saving principle. With this aim in mind, we have prepared fluorescent photochromic organic nanoparticles (NPs), showing bright red emission, complete ON-OFF contrast with full reversibility, and excellent fatigue resistance. Most interestingly, upon successive UV and visible light irradiation, the NPs exhibit a complete fluorescence quenching and recovery at very low photochromic conversion levels (<5 %), leading to the fluorescence photoswitching of 420±20 molecules for only one converted photochromic molecule. This giant amplification of fluorescence photoswitching originates from efficient intermolecular energy-transfer processes within the NPs.