Two-way molecular switches with large nonlinear optical contrast

Fabien Mançois, Jean Luc Pozzo, Jianfeng Pan, Frédéric Adamietz, Vincent Rodriguez, Laurent Ducasse, Frédéric Castet, Aurélie Plaquet, Benoît Champagne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To optimize the nonlinear optical (NLO) contrast, a series of indolinooxazolidine derivatives with electron-withdrawing substituents in the para position on the indolinic residue have been synthesized. Their linear and nonlinear optical properties have been characterized by UV-visible absorption and hyper-Rayleigh scattering measurements, as well as by ab initio calculations. The two-way photo- or pH-triggered switching mechanism has been demonstrated by comparing the absorption spectra of the zwitterionic and protonated open forms (POF). Hyper-Rayleigh measurements have revealed that the second-order NLO contrast between the closed indolinooxazolidine and the open it-conjugated colored forms remain very large upon substitution. Theory and measurements show that for the POFs the amplitude of the first hyperpolarizability follows the Hammett parameters of the withdrawing groups. However, because the measurements are performed in resonance, to recover this behavior, elaborate procedures including homogeneous and inhomogeneous broadenings, as well as single-mode vibronic structures are necessary to extrapolate to the static limit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2560-2571
Number of pages12
JournalChemistry: A European Journal
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2 Mar 2009


  • Ab initio calculations
  • Hyper-Rayleigh measurements
  • Indolinooxazolidine derivatives
  • Molecular switches
  • Nonlinear optics

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