Data and signal processing using photochromic molecules
Journal article, 2012
Photochromes are chromophores that are reversibly isomerized between two metastable forms using light, or light and heat. When photochromes are covalently linked to other chromophores, they can act as molecular photonic analogues of electronic transistors. As bistable switches, they can be incorporated into the design of molecules capable of binary arithmetic and both combinatorial and sequential digital logic operations. Small ensembles of such molecules can perform analogue signal modulation similar to that carried out by transistor amplifiers. Examples of molecules that perform multiple logic functions, act as control elements for fluorescent reporters, and mimic natural photoregulatory functions are presented.