The photophysical properties of Methyl Red molecules embedded in a poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) matrix were investigated with photoinduced absorption, absorption kinetics, steady-state, and time-resolved luminescence spectroscopy. The excited singlet (S1) state lifetimes for trans and cis isomers of Methyl Red in PMMA at room temperature have been measured as 35 and 420 ps, respectively. The excited triplet (T1) state energy level and its lifetime at 77 K were also obtained. A slow trans–cis isomerization process having a time constant of a few hundred seconds was observed for the illuminated Methyl Red in rigid polymer. Based on measured photophysical properties and dynamic processes, an energy-level diagram for Methyl Red molecules in rigid polymer is introduced to explain these observations.
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