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Prof. Giovanni Granucci

Title of the PhD project:
Photochemistry of molecular switches based on spiropyran

Abstract of the PhD project:
Spiropyrans are a broad class of compounds whose use is widely found in materials science. Due to their photochromic characteristics, the spiropyrans can be used in a variety of applications, such as photoswitches, memory devices and biological imaging tools, attracting research interest towards their synthesis and characterization. Among the family of spiropyranic compounds, the 1′,3′-Dihydro-1′,3′,3′-trimethyl-6-nitrospiro[2H-1-benzopyran-2,2′-[2H]-indole] (nitroBIPS) deserves particular attention: as a matter of fact the presence of the nitro group at the 6-position of the benzopyran subunit shifts the equilibrium spiropyran-merocyanine toward the open form merocyanine. Furthermore the presence of the nitro group strongly enhances the quantum yield of intersystem crossing in the nitroBIPS. However, despite numerous experimental studies involving spiropyrans, the exact mechanism of the photoisomerization reaction has not been fully understood yet.
The main aim of this research project is to elucidate the photoisomerization mechanism of nitroBIPS and the role of triplet states in this process. Therefore I will investigate the photochemistry of nitroBIPS under several conditions: as a free molecule, in solution and under extremely high pressures. Besides I will simulate the phenomenon of the aggregation-induced (enhanced) emission (AIEE) in merocyanine J-type aggregates of nitroBIPS.


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