Photochromic polymeric materials have been commercialized in ophthalmic lenses, however, there are many other potential uses for this technology. The photochromic transitions are extremely sensitive to environmental conditions, thus offering the potential for modifying the kinetics to suit different applications. There are a significant number of photochromic molecular families, with different characteristics. The spiro-compounds, both spirooxazines and spiropyrans, have received the most attention as they have good coloration properties and spirooxazines also display good fatigue resistance. Consequently this review focuses on the inclusion of these compounds into polymer matrices. In addition we discuss decoloration and coloration behaviors, solvatochromism, mechanism of fatigue, and unusual synthetic approaches.
Such, GK, Evans, RA, Yee, LH & Davis, TP, 2003, 'Factors influencing photochromism of spiro–compounds within polymeric matrices', Journal of Macromolecular Science - Polymer Reviews, vol. 43, no. 4, pp. 547-579.
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