23 Scopus citations


Molecules that change their structure in response to a stimulus such as light or an added chemical can act as molecular switches. Such switches can be chemically linked to other active moieties to create molecular "devices" for various purposes. There has been much activity of late in the use of molecular switches such as photochromes in the construction of molecular logic gates that carry out binary or digital functions. However, ensembles of such molecules can also act as analog devices. Here, examples of a molecular photonic signal transducer and two mimics of photosynthetic photoregulatory processes are discussed. Ensembles of molecules containing photochromes or other molecular switching elements can be used as either binary or analog "devices." Examples of analog applications are presented. The graphic schematically depicts a molecular signal transducer that is an analogue of a transistor amplifier. A blue light input generates green fluorescence output whose amplitude is regulated by a second, red light input.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)456-461
Number of pages6
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 18 2013


  • Photochemistry
  • molecular switch
  • photochrome
  • photosynthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Analog applications of photochemical switches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this