Design and study of a photo-switchable polymeric system in the presence of ZnS nanoparticles under the influence of UV light irradiation

Guadalupe Del C. Pizarro*, Wilson Alavia, Karen González, Héctor Díaz, Oscar G. Marambio, Rudy Martin-Trasanco, Julio Sánchez, Diego P. Oyarzún, Andrónico Neira-Carrillo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Recent progress in the field of photosensitive materials has prompted a need to develop efficient methods to synthesize materials with basic intermolecular architectural designs and novel properties. Accordingly, in this work we design and study a photoactive polymer as a photoswitchable polymeric system in the presence and absence of ZnS nanoparticles (average size < 10 nm) at 5 wt.%. The influence of UV light irradiation on its properties were also studied. The photoactive block copolymer was obtained from styrene (S) and methyl methacrylate (MMA) as monomers and 1-(2-hydroxyethyl)-3,3-dimethylindoline-6-nitrobenzopyran (SP) was grafted to the block copolymer backbone as a photochromic agent. Furthermore, the incorporation of ZnS (NPs) as photo-optical switch component into the system enhances the purple colored photo-emission, with the open form of the spiropyran derivative (merocyanine, MC). The ZnS stabilize the isomeric equilibrium in the MC interconversion of the photochromic agent. The photo-switchable properties of the PS-b-PMMA-SP in the presence of ZnS (NPs) were examined using UV-VIS spectroscopy, Photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, optical fluorescence and scanning electronic microscopy (SEM-EDX.). The observed changes in the absorbance, fluorescence and morphology of the system were associated to the reversible interconversion of the two states of the photochromic agent which regulates the radiative deactivation of the luminescent ZnS NPs component. After UV irradiation the photoactive polymer becomes purple in color. Therefore, these basic studies can lead to the development of innovative functional and nanostructured materials with photosensitive character as photosensitive molecular switches.

Original languageEnglish
Article number945
Number of pages16
JournalPolymers
Volume14
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • light-sensitive materials
  • morphological surface characteristic
  • photo-switchable properties
  • photoactive polymeric system
  • spiropyrans

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