Enlightening materials with photoswitches

Alexis Goulet-Hanssens (Corresponding author), Fabian Eisenreich (Corresponding author), Stefan Hecht (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

266 Citations (Scopus)


Incorporating molecular photoswitches into various materials provides unique opportunities for controlling their properties and functions with high spatiotemporal resolution using remote optical stimuli. The great and largely still untapped potential of these photoresponsive systems has not yet been fully exploited due to the fundamental challenges in harnessing geometrical and electronic changes on the molecular level to modulate macroscopic and bulk material properties. Herein, progress made during the past decade in the field of photoswitchable materials is highlighted. After pointing to some general design principles, materials with an increasing order of the integrated photoswitchable units are discussed, spanning the range from amorphous settings over surfaces/interfaces and supramolecular ensembles, to liquid crystalline and crystalline phases. Finally, some potential future directions are pointed out in the conclusion. In view of the exciting recent achievements in the field, the future emergence and further development of light-driven and optically programmable (inter)active materials and systems are eagerly anticipated.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1905966
Number of pages23
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - May 2020


FundersFunder number
Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung
Verband der Chemischen Industrie
Fonds Québécois de la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies


    • material science
    • photochemistry
    • photoswitches
    • responsive materials
    • smart devices


    Dive into the research topics of 'Enlightening materials with photoswitches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this