A simple supramolecular crosslinked gel is reported with a photosensitive ruthenium bipyridine complex functioning as a crosslinker and poly(4-vinylpyridine) (P4VP) as a macromolecular ligand. Irradiation of the organogels in H2O/MeOH with visible and NIR light (in a multiphoton process) leads to cleavage of pyridine moieties from the ruthenium complex breaking the cross-links and causing degelation and hence solubilization of the P4VP chains. Real-time (RT) photorheology experiments of thin films showed a rapid degelation in several seconds, whereas larger bulk samples could also be photocleaved. Furthermore, the gels could be reformed or healed by simple heating of the system and restoration of the metal–ligand crosslinks. The relatively simple dynamic system with a high sensitivity towards light in the visible and NIR region make them interesting positive photoresists for nano/micropatterning applications, as was demonstrated by writing, erasing, and rewriting of the gels by single- and multiphoton lithography.
- multiphoton absorption
- photosensitive gels