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Photochromes for Optical Memory


Photochromes for New Generation of Highly Efficient Computers with Three Dimensional (3D) Optical Memory

Tech Area / Field

  • CHE-RAD/Photo and Radiation Chemistry/Chemistry
  • INF-DAT/Data Storage and Peripherals/Information and Communications

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Bunyatov K S

Leading Institute
Institute of Organic Chemistry, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • Rostov State University / Institute of Physical and Organic Chemistry, Russia, Rostov reg., Rostov-on-Don\nPhotochemistry Center, Russia, Moscow


  • Universita di Perugia, Italy, Perugia\nUniversité de la Méditerrannée / Faculte des Sciences de Luminy, France, Marseille\nKyushu University, Japan, Fukuoka\nBASF, Germany, Ludwigshafen\nUniversite Montpellier II, France, Montpellier

Project summary

At present the topical task of the following progress for information technologies is a jump from a two-dimensional (2D) information carriers to three-dimensional (3D) recording media. This break will provide the development of superhigh information capacity including personal computers.Decision of this problem will allow to make a new large step in the field of information technique. In principle, now the problem of making this optical memory is clear. But recording media with required characteristics for practical realization are not found up to this time.

The project principally aims at effective thermally irreversible (bistable) photochromic systems as sources for three-dimensional (3D) optical memory and molecular switches materials to promote new generation of computers (molecular computing) and recording, storage and processing systems for large data amounts.

To achieve photochromes with adequate properties (high thermal stability of both the starting and photoinduced forms, high quantum yields of photoreactions, luminescence, high fatigue resistance in two-photon data recording and reading), we schedule the synthesis of systematic series of photochromes with various structural types and research of their spectral and photochemical parameters. Many of these photochromes were originally synthesized at Zelinsky Institute, Photochemistry Center, and Rostov State University. Effective synthetic methods will be developed to prepare a new generation of photochromic 1,2-bis-thienylethenes and hybrid 1,2-bis-thienylethenes with fulgide fragments. In plan are original methods for the synthesis of hybrid photochromic bis-thienylethenes with spiropyran-type fragments and dithienylethenes with thiophene rings fused with other heterocycles. We will synthesize new fulgides and fulgimides of the indole, benzindole, naphthofuran and 2-hetaryloxazole series. In terms of extremely high cross sections of spiropyran two-photon absorption, we plan the synthesis of a number of new photochromic spirocyclic systems, namely spiropyrans, spirooxazines and perimidinespirocyclohexadienes, intended to increasing thermal stability of such compounds. A new class of photochromes, viz. spirocyclic metal complexes based on imines of o-hydroxy(thio)benz- and vicinal hydroxynaphthaldehydes, will be synthesized and examined, particularly in respect to the structural optimization of their properties.

The project will benefit from the assets of Zelinsky Institute in the area of new approaches and synthetic techniques developed for untraditional 1,2-dithienylethenes. Specifically, we will carry out the synthesis of 1,2-dithienylperfluorocyclopentenes, in the molecules of which not only thiophene cycles are directly bonded to ethylene bridges, but substituted fused thiophene fragments as well, such as thienothiophene, dithienothiophene, thienothiazole, etc. We intend to develop new approaches to the synthesis of dihetarylethenes with the maleic anhydride fragment and original pathways for the synthesis of photochromes with other ethene fragments. That would allow us to fulfill synthesis of photochromes with a highly developed conjugation system and to increase the conjugation degree.

We also schedule to determine quantum yields of photochromic transformation of newly prepared substances, to measure fatigue resistance of phototransformations and thermal stability of isomeric forms, to establish the mechanisms of the photochemical aging), and to analyze the behavior of promising compounds under two-photon absorption both in solutions and in polymeric and solid vacuum-sprayed films.

The outputs of experimental, kinetic, spectral and x-ray researches supported by theoretical modeling on the grounds of advanced quantum chemical methods will lead to structure-properties correlations and building of a mathematical model of the target search for photochromes with needed characteristics.

At the end of this project the samples of photochromic polymer recording media satisfying to application in the working 3D optical memory will be presented.

The project meets the goals and objectives of the ISTC. It is supposed to employ high-qualification scientific researchers mostly with the defense background in the field of mass destruction weapons. The work under the project will benefit to their professional re-focusing and progress and let them gain valuable experience in a variety of areas related to advanced organic chemistry and informational technologies.