Reversible photo-switching of dual-color fluorescent Mn-doped CdS-ZnS quantum dots modulated by diarylethene molecules

Yucheng Yuan, Hua Zhu, Yasutaka Nagaoka, Rui Tan, Andrew Hunter Davis, Weiwei Zheng, Ou Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Dynamic materials have been given an increased amount of attention in recent years with an expectation that they may exhibit properties on demand. Especially, the combination of fluorescent quantum dots (QDs) and light-responsive organic switches can generate novel photo-switchable materials for diverse applications. In this work, a highly reversible dynamic hybrid system is established by mixing dual-color emitting Mn-doped CdS-ZnS quantum dots (QDs) with photo-switchable diarylethene molecules. We show that the diarylethene 1,2-bis(5-(3,5-bis(trifluoromethyl)phenyl)-2-methylthiophen-3-yl)cyclopent-1-ene (switch molecule 1) performs fabulous photo-switching property (between its open, 1o and closed, 1c forms), and high fatigue resistance in this hybrid system. The emission color switching between blue and pink of the system can be induced mainly by selective quenching/recovering of the Mn- photoluminescence (PL) of the QDs due to the switchable absorbance of the molecule 1. Mechanistic studies show that quenching of QD emission following UV illumination was caused by both Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) and reabsorption by surrounding 1c molecules in the case of the Mn-PL, and solely by reabsorption in the case of badngap- (BG-)PL. This photo-switchable system could be potentially used in applications ranging from self-erasing paper to super-resolution fluorescence imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number145
JournalFrontiers in Chemistry
Issue numberMAR
StatePublished - 2019


  • Diarylethene switches
  • Dual-color
  • Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET)
  • Mn-doped CdS-ZnS quantum dots
  • Photon reabsorption
  • Reversible photo-switching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Reversible photo-switching of dual-color fluorescent Mn-doped CdS-ZnS quantum dots modulated by diarylethene molecules'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this