By using hyper-Rayleigh scattering experiments and quantum-chemical calculations, we demonstrate that nonlinear optics can be used to probe unequivocally, within a non-destructive process, the multiple electronic states that are activated upon pH- and light-triggered transformations of the 4'-hydroxyflavylium ion. These results open new perspectives in the design of molecular-scale high-density optical memory.
- flavylium ions
- hyper-Rayleigh scattering
- nonlinear optical switches
- quantum chemical calculations
- MOLECULAR SWITCHES