Writing and erasing multicolored information in diarylethene-based supramolecular gels†
A facile cocktail approach implying the mixing of diarylethene (DAE) photoswitches and low molecular weight gelators (LMWG) is presented. The photoresponsive gels exhibit multicolored emission that can be precisely controlled by different light exposure schemes (wavelength and dose), applicable for fluorescence patterning/writing. Including also a blue-emitting fluorophore allows for tri-chromatic color tuning of the emission via multistep energy transfer reactions, which in turn yields a non-linear response between the emission spectra and the light dose. This feature is highly desired in data security and anti-counterfeiting contexts. The information written in the gels can be conveniently erased by light, mass diffusion, or shaking; the latter being due to the thixotropic properties of the gels.