Molecular switches as photocontrollable "smart" receptors

Chem Soc Rev. 2012 May 21;41(10):4010-29. doi: 10.1039/c2cs35015g. Epub 2012 Mar 19.

Abstract

This critical review focuses on the development of photochromic compounds as sensors for cations, anions, and biologically important molecules. The review commences with a brief description of photochromism and the strategies to exploit photochromic molecular switches' properties for sensing application. This is followed by a summary of photoswitchable receptors emerged to date and classified according to the photochromic structure they are based on. These include azobenzenes, fulgides, dithienylethenes, dihydroindolizines, chromenes and spiropyrans.