The invention provides the switching of magnetic properties in isolated (magnetically noninteracting) molecules in solution. Switching from the diamagnetic to the paramagnetic state is performed by irradiation with blue‐green light (500 nm), and the conversion back to the diamagnetic form is induced with blue‐violet light (435 nm). The process is fully reversible. No fatigue or degradation is observed after several thousand cycles at room temperature under air. In spite of the extremely high photosensitivity, the thermal conversion of the high energy paramagnetic state to the diamagnetic ground state is very slow (t1/2 at 54°C: 27 hours). The invention can be used as optical storage media, switchable contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (dynamic MRI) and for contact free manipulation of objects.
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