Iminothioindoxyl as a molecular photoswitch with 100 nm band separation in the visible range

Mark W. H. Hoorens, Miroslav Medved, Adele D. Laurent, Mariangela Di Donato, Samuele Fanetti, Laura Slappendel, Michiel Hilbers, Ben L. Feringa*, Wybren Jan Buma, Wiktor Szymanski

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

Light is an exceptional external stimulus for establishing precise control over the properties and functions of chemical and biological systems, which is enabled through the use of molecular photoswitches. Ideal photoswitches are operated with visible light only, show large separation of absorption bands and are functional in various solvents including water, posing an unmet challenge. Here we show a class of fully-visible-light-operated molecular photoswitches, lminothioindoxyls (ITIs) that meet these requirements. ITIs show a band separation of over 100 nm, isomerize on picosecond time scale and thermally relax on millisecond time scale. Using a combination of advanced spectroscopic and computational techniques, we provide the rationale for the switching behavior of ITIs and the influence of structural modifications and environment, including aqueous solution, on their photochemical properties. This research paves the way for the development of improved photo-controlled systems for a wide variety of applications that require fast responsive functions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2390
Number of pages11
JournalNature Communications
Volume10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3-Jun-2019

Keywords

  • AZOBENZENE PHOTOSWITCHES
  • INFRARED-SPECTROSCOPY
  • EXCITED-STATES
  • LIGHT
  • PHOTOCONTROL
  • DERIVATIVES
  • PEPTIDES
  • PROTEIN
  • DESIGN

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