PerspectivePhysics

Toward Organic All-Optical Switching

Science  19 Mar 2010:
Vol. 327, Issue 5972, pp. 1466-1467
DOI: 10.1126/science.1188291

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Summary

In the past decade, there has been an explosion of academic and industrial interest in the use of organic conducting (“pi-conjugated”) materials in optoelectronics, flexible logic circuits, light emission, energy conversion, optical communications (13). Compared with inorganic materials, pi-conjugated materials can more easily be tuned through molecular design and cost less to manufacture. Advances in physical understanding, synthetic control of the chemical product, and computational molecular design now allow pi-conjugated materials to be tailored for a specific purpose or function. On page 1485 of this issue, Hales et al. (4) report a promising new approach to the design of pi-conjugated materials for all-optical communications.