Chinese Journal of Applied Chemistry ›› 2017, Vol. 34 ›› Issue (12): 1379-1402.DOI: 10.11944/j.issn.1000-0518.2017.12.170304

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Research Progress on Hydrophilic Photoswitchable Fluorescent Diarylethenes

LI Chong(),CHEN Ying,XIE Nuohua,LIU Junxia,FAN Cheng,ZHOU Qiyuan,ZHU Mingqiang()   

  1. Wuhan National Laboratory for Optoelectronics,School of Optical and Electronic Information,Huazhong University of Science and Technology,Wuhan 430074,China
  • Received:2017-08-29 Accepted:2017-09-30 Published:2017-12-04 Online:2017-12-04
  • Contact: LI Chong,ZHU Mingqiang
  • Supported by:
    Supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China(No.51673077, No.51603078, No.21474034), the National Basic Research Program of China(No.2013CB922104, No.2015CB755602), the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities(HUST:2016YXMS029), Director Fund of WNLO


Photoswitchable fluorescent dithienylethene is one kind of the most typical diarylethene structures. Hydrophilization of photoswitchable fluorescent dithienylethene has become one of the key factors to come true its practical applications as a fluorescence photoswitching probes. Owing to its excellent fatigue resistance and unique thermal bistability, it has been widely studied and applied. This paper reviews the development history of photoswitchable fluorescent thienylethenes, summarizes the mechanism of fluorescence photoswitching mechanisms, describes some important achievements on the foundational research about novel structures and improved properties of photoswitchable fluorescent thienylethene in recent years. We also focus on the systemic overview of the applications of photoswitchable fluorescent dithienylethylene in optical memory, non-destructive read-out, single-molecule fluorescence imaging, bio-imaging, all-optical transistors. In the end, the challenges encountered during the study of diarylethenes are analyzed. It is believable that photoswithcable fluorescent polymers based on dithienylethene is the research direction in the future. Moreover, the promising application of diarylethenes in super-resolution imaging is prospected.

Key words: diarylethene, photoswitchable fluorescent molecules, hydrophilic, sensors, super-resolution imaging, fluorescence photoswitching probes