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It is important, but challenging, to measure the (photo)induced switching of molecules in different chemical environments, from solution through thin layers to solid bulk crystals. We compare the cis–trans conformational switching of commercial azobenzene molecules in different liquid and solid environments: polar solutions, liquid polymers, 2D nanostructures and 3D crystals. We achieve this goal by using complementary techniques: optical absorption spectroscopy, femtosecond transient absorption spectroscopy, Kelvin probe force microscopy and reflectance spectroscopy, supported by density functional theory calculations. We could observe the same molecule showing fast switching in a few picoseconds, when studied as an isolated molecule in water, or slow switching in tens of minutes, when assembled in 3D crystals. It is worth noting that we could also observe switching for small ensembles of molecules (a …
Royal Society of Chemistry
Publication date: 
1 Jan 2021

Vanesa Quintano, Valentin Diez-Cabanes, Simone Dell’Elce, Lorenzo Di Mario, Stefano Pelli Cresi, Alessandra Paladini, David Beljonne, Andrea Liscio, Vincenzo Palermo

Biblio References: 
Volume: 23 Issue: 20 Pages: 11698-11708
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics