© 2016 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim A novel strategy to achieve thermally switchable photochromism in solid materials is reported, which relies on the preparation of polymeric core–shell capsules containing solutions of photochromic dyes in acidic phase-change materials. Upon changing the phase (solid or liquid) of the encapsulated medium, one of the two photochromic states of the system is selectively stabilized on demand, allowing for reversible interconversion between direct and reverse photochromism when thermally scanning through the melting temperature of the phase-change material. This strategy, which does not require the addition of external agents or chemical modification of the dyes, proved to be general for different spiropyran photochromes and to be applicable to the fabrication of a variety of functional materials by simply embedding the capsules obtained into a solid matrix of choice.
- optical switches
- phase transitions