Abstract

We report on photocurrent switching based on photoisomerization for the nondestructive readout of photochromic optical memory. The photoisomerization of a diarylethene (DAE) memory layer switched the photocurrent generated in a light-absorbing phthalocyanine layer upon irradiation of a laser light. This switching is based on the ionization potential change of the DAE molecules. Switching characteristics of the photocurrent were investigated for the laser light with a wavelength of 410nm, 630nm, or 780nm. Excellent on–off ratios of the photocurrent were achieved by irradiation at 630nm and 780nm. When the pulsed laser light with a wavelength of 780nm was repeatedly irradiated to the colored and uncolored memory devices, no change of the photocurrent signal levels was observed, even after 8×105 cycles, indicating a successful demonstration of the nondestructive readout.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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