Surface plasmon enhanced switching kinetics of molecular photochromic films on gold nanohole arrays
2020-07-08, Lenyk, Bohdan, Schöps, Volker, Boneberg, Johannes, Kabdulov, Mikhail, Huhn, Thomas, Scheer, Elke, Offenhäusser, Andreas, Mayer, Dirk
Diarylethene molecules are discussed as possible optical switches, which can reversibly transition between completely conjugated (closed) and nonconjugated (open) forms with different electrical conductance and optical absorbance, by exposure to UV and visible light. However, the opening reaction exhibits, in general, much lower quantum yield than the closing process, hindering their usage in optoelectronic devices. To enhance the opening process, which is supported by visible light, we employ the plasmonic field enhancement of gold films perforated with nanoholes. We show that gold nanohole arrays reveal strong optical transmission in the visible range (~60%) and pronounced enhancement of field intensities, resulting in around 50% faster switching kinetics of the molecular species in comparison with quartz substrates. The experimental UV-Vis measurements are verified with Finite-Difference Time-Domain simulation that confirm the obtained results. Thus, we propose gold nanohole arrays as transparent and conductive plasmonic material that accelerates visible-light-triggered chemical reactions including molecular switching.