Solution and Solid-State Emission Toggling of a Photochromic Hydrazone

The proliferation of light-activated switches in recent years has enabled their use in a broad range of applications encompassing an array of research fields and disciplines. All current systems, however, have limitations (e.g., from complicated synthesis to incompatibility in biologically relevant media and lack of switching in the solid-state) that can stifle their real-life application. Here we report on a system that packs most, if not all, the desired, targeted and sought-after traits from photochromic compounds (bistability, switching in various media ranging from serum to solid-state, while exhibiting ON/OFF fluorescence emission switching, and two-photon assisted near-infrared light toggling) in an easily accessible structure.