Characterization of fatigue resistance in photochromic composite materials for 3D rewritable optical memory applications

Elena Samoylova*, William Dallari, Marco Allione, Francesca Pignatelli, Lara Marini, Roberto Cingolani, Alberto Diaspro, Athanassia Athanassiou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Fatigue resistance of the photochromic diarylethene molecules 1,2-bis[2-methylbenzo[b]thyophen-3-yl]-3,3,4,4,5,5-hexafluoro-1-cyclopentene embedded in three different acrylic polymers is studied upon multiple coloration-decoloration cycles. The resistance to photofatigue is found to be different in the three polymeric materials when one-photon excitation was used for the reversible photoconversion experiment. In particular, the photochromic molecules lose their photoisomerization ability faster if they are embedded in poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) with respect to poly(ethyl methacrylate-co- methyl acrylate) (PEMMA) and poly(ethyl methacrylate) (PEMA). We propose several explanations based on the physico-chemical properties of the matrix and of the photochromic molecules. In the case of two-photon excitation, which is necessary for 3D optical writing, the fatigue resistance is found to be poorer than in the one-photon case. The accelerated photodegradation can be assigned to the non-linear nature of interaction between the polymeric composite material and light. AbbreviationsDAEdiarylethenePMMApoly(methyl methacrylate)PEMApoly(ethyl methacrylate)PEMMApoly(ethyl methacrylate-co-methyl acrylate)WORMwrite-one-read- manyVISvisibleNAnumerical aperture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-735
Number of pages6
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering B: Solid-State Materials for Advanced Technology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Jun 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Acrylic polymers
  • Fatigue
  • Photochromic diarylethenes
  • Rewritable memory
  • Thermal properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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