Emission color tuning and white-light generation based on photochromic control of energy transfer reactions in polymer micelles†
We encapsulate a fluorescent donor molecule and a photochromic acceptor unit (photoswitch) in polymer micelles and show that the color of the emitted fluorescence is continuously changed from blue to yellow upon light-induced isomerization of the acceptor. Interestingly, white-light generation is achieved in between. With the photoswitch in the colorless form, intense blue emission from the donor is observed, while UV-induced isomerization to the colored form induces an energy transfer reaction that quenches the donor emission and sensitizes the yellow emission from the colored photoswitch. The process is reversed by exposure to visible light, triggering isomerization to the colorless form.