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Temperature Gating of the Ring-Opening Process in Diarylethene Molecular Switches

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  • Chemistry


Temperature Gating of the Ring-Opening Process in Diarylethene Molecular Switches DOI: 10.1002/adma.200700161 Temperature Gating of the Ring-Opening Process in Diarylethene Molecular Switches** By Diana Dulic´,* Tibor Kudernac, Audrius Puzˇys, Ben L. Feringa,* and Bart J. van Wees Organic photochromic compounds that allow reversible modulation of physical properties by using an external trig- ger are very promising candidates for optoelectronic de- vices,[1] high-density optical (multicolor) memories,[2] ad- dressable polymers,[3] and, in general, smart materials.[4] Because of the excellent thermal stability of both open-ring and closed-ring isomers, and because of their fatigue-resistive properties, diarylethenes deserve special interest.[1,5] By using these molecules, novel photoswitching effects, such as changes in fluorescence intensity and wavelength,[6–13] elec- trochemical properties,[14] optical rotation,[15] magnetic prop- erties,[16] electron-transfer interactions,[17] and conductance[18] have been demonstrated. Photoswitching effects are based on the reorganization of the p-conjugated backbone of the molecule that consequently leads to different physical prop- erties. Knowledge of the vital factors governing photochro- mic processes is essential for future utilization of diaryleth- enes as smart materials as well as for a fundamental understanding of the photoprocesses involved. Hence, tem- perature-dependent studies are necessary to reveal new as- pects and limits of the switching process, as previously shown by measurements at elevated temperatures.[19] Additionally, determining possible switching restrictions at low tempera- tures is particularly important in view of carrying out con- ductance measurements at the single-molecular level, which are restricted at room temperature because of the high mo- bility of the gold atoms constituting the electrodes in this type of experiment. In order to achieve stability of the met- al/molecule/metal system it is often necessa

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