Photochromic solid materials based on the cationic polymer poly(decylviologen) are reported. The solids were obtained by freeze-drying colloidal suspensions of nanocomplexes obtained by mixing aqueous solutions of the polycation with different solutions of polyanions such as poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate) or sodium alginate, at a cationic/anionic polymeric charge ratio of 0.7. The photochromic responses of the solid materials fabricated with alginate as complementary charged polyelectrolyte of the cationic polyviologen are faster than those of the solid materials fabricated with poly(sodium 4-styrenesulfonate), achieving coloration kinetics in the order of minutes, and discoloration kinetics in the order of hours for the former. Aromatic-aromatic interactions between the latter polyanion and the polyviologen may stabilize the dicationic form of the viologen derivative, increasing the necessary energy to undergo photoreduction, thus decreasing the reduction kinetics.
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