Cooperative light-induced breathing of soft porous crystals via azobenzene buckling

Simon Krause*, Jack D. Evans, Volodymyr Bon, Stefano Crespi, Wojciech Danowski, Wesley R. Browne, Sebastian Ehrling, Francesco Walenszus, Dirk Wallacher, Nico Grimm, Daniel M. Többens, Manfred S. Weiss, Stefan Kaskel*, Ben L. Feringa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Although light is a prominent stimulus for smart materials, the application of photoswitches as light-responsive triggers for phase transitions of porous materials remains poorly explored. Here we incorporate an azobenzene photoswitch in the backbone of a metal-organic framework producing light-induced structural contraction of the porous network in parallel to gas adsorption. Light-stimulation enables non-invasive spatiotemporal control over the mechanical properties of the framework, which ultimately leads to pore contraction and subsequent guest release via negative gas adsorption. The complex mechanism of light-gated breathing is established by a series of in situ diffraction and spectroscopic experiments, supported by quantum mechanical and molecular dynamic simulations. Unexpectedly, this study identifies a novel light-induced deformation mechanism of constrained azobenzene photoswitches relevant to the future design of light-responsive materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1951
Number of pages10
JournalNature Communications
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12-Apr-2022

Cite this