An analysis of the results of complex experimental and theoretical studies of photoinduced changes in the spectral properties of photochromic diarylethene in various nanostructured systems is presented. The properties of diarylethene were studied in solutions in the presence of colloidal metal and semiconductor nanoparticles, as well as in the form of solid-phase composite nanostructured core-shell systems based on colloidal nanoparticles with a shell of diarylethene molecules (including in a polymer matrix). A photoinduced reversible change in the electronic and vibrational spectra of diarylethene in various studied matrices was found. The results can be used to create optoelectronic photo-switchable elements for ultra-high-capacity memory devices, photo-controlled molecular switches and sensors.
SummaryIn order to transmit a eukaryotic cell’s genome accurately from mother cell to daughter cells, it is essential that the basic events of the cell division cycle (DNA synthesis and mitosis) occur once and only once per cycle, i.e., that a cell progresses irreversibly from G1 to S to G2 to M and back to G1. Irreversible progression through the cell cycle is assured by a sequence of ‘latching’ molecular switches, based on molecular interactions among cyclin-dependent kinases and their auxiliary partners. Positive feedback loops (++ or −−) create bistable switches with latching properties, and negative feedback loops drive progression from one stage to the next. In budding yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) these events are coordinated by double-negative feedback loops between Clb-dependent kinases (Clb1-6) and their antagonists (APC:Cdh1 and Sic1). If the coordinating signal is compromised, either by deletion of Clb1-5 proteins or expression of non-degradable Clb2, then irreversibility is lost and yeast cells exhibit multiple rounds of DNA replication or mitotic exit events (Cdc14 endocycles). Using mathematical modelling of a stripped-down control network, we show how endocycles arise because the switches fail to latch, and the gates swing back and forth by the action of the negative feedback loops.
In the search for new nonlinear optical (NLO) switching devices, expanded porphyrins have emerged as ideal candidates thanks to their tunable chemical and photophysical properties. Introducing meso-substituents to these macrocycles is a successful strategy to enhance the NLO contrasts. Despite its potential, the influence of meso-substitution on their structural and geometrical properties has been scarcely investigated. In this work, we pursue to grasp the underlying pivotal concepts for the fine-tuning of the NLO contrasts of hexaphyrin-based molecular switches, with a particular focus on the first hyperpolarizability related to the hyper-Rayleigh scattering (βHRS). Building further on these concepts, we also aim to develop a rational design protocol. Starting from the (un)substituted hexaphyrins with various π-conjugation topologies and redox states, structure-property relationships are established linking aromaticity, photophysical properties and βHRS responses. Ultimately, inverse molecular design using the best-first search algorithm is applied on the most favorable switches with the aim to further explore the combinatorial chemical compound space of meso-substituted hexaphyrins in search of high-contrast NLO switches. Two definitions of the figure-of-merit of the switch performance were used as target objectives in the optimization problem. Several meso-substitution patterns and their underlying characteristics are identified, uncovering molecular symmetry and the electronic nature of the substituents as the key players for fine-tuning the βHRS values and NLO contrasts of hexaphyrin-based switches.