Researchers from Japan developed a new method that can be used to change the color and fluorescence of compounds using oxygen and hydrogen gases. This is a reversible method that is environmentally friendly. The technique can find applications in sensors and control of organic semiconductors and OLED devices.

The researchers explain that they were able to perform a molecular switch in aromatic compounds that are commonly used in OLEDs, OPVs and other applications. The switch was performed using an orthoquinone moiety.

This technique has some interesting applications. For example, this can be used inside food packages that checks whether oxygen has entered the package (and so the food may be spoiled). OLEDs could also benefit from the ability to control optical properties using energy from gases. The researchers say that OLEDs could show on/off switching characteristics by using the energy from the applied gas.

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