CDT MRes student publication is Editors Choice

Jounal paper on "Switching of Radiation Force on Optically Trapped Microparticles through Photochromic Reactions of Pyranoquinazoline Derivatives" is recognised as ACS Editors Choice in the Journal of Physical Chemistry.

Congratulations to Ahsan Murtaza Memon, a Cambridge CDT MRes student, who has just co-authored a paper selected as Editors Choice and will feature for the cover of paper publication next month.

The paper's abstract is below.

Photocontrol of mechanical motions of small objects has attracted much attention to develop mesoscopic remote actuators. For this purpose, photoinduced morphological changes of molecules, molecular aggregates, and crystals have been extensively studied in the field of chemistry and materials science. Here, we propose direct use of momenta of light (i.e. radiation force) to control the motion of small objects, through photochromic reactions of pyranoquinazoline (PQ) derivatives. PQ is colorless in visible wavelength region while it is in closed form and undergoes photochemical ring-opening reactions to form colored isomers upon UV light irradiation; the open-ring isomers return to the colorless closed isomers mainly through the thermal back reaction. In the experiment, individual polymer microparticles with diameters of 7 μm incorporating PQ were trapped by optical tweezers. When the trapped microparticle was irradiated with UV light, the microparticle was pushed along the axis of light propagation about a few micrometers by absorption force arising from PQ in colored form. In addition, we found that dynamics of trapped microparticles was regulated by the thermal back reaction of PQ. The present results demonstrate that diversity of photochromic reactions can be transcribed into mesoscopic motions through the momentum exchange between light and molecules.