Perspective abstract

Nature Chemistry 1, 605 - 610 (2009)
Published online: 23 October 2009 | doi:10.1038/nchem.411

Subject Category: Materials chemistry

Mechanically induced luminescence changes in molecular assemblies

Yoshimitsu Sagara1 & Takashi Kato1

Altering the shape and properties of a material through external factors such as heat, light, pressure, pH, electric or magnetic fields, or the introduction of a guest molecule, is an attractive prospect. In this Perspective, piezochromic luminescent materials — which change the colour of their luminescence in response to mechanical stimuli — are described. Such piezochromism has been observed for a few molecular materials that contain luminescent cores in liquid-crystalline and crystalline solid states, as well as for polymeric materials doped with dyes. These changes in photoluminescent colour can be activated by various types of mechanical pressure such as shearing, grinding or elongation, which can trigger different mechanisms of producing the colour. Such stimuli-responsive materials have potential for various applications, including sensors, memory and displays.

  1. Department of Chemistry and Biotechnology, School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan.

Correspondence to: Takashi Kato1 e-mail:

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