Toward optomechanics: Maximizing the photodeformation of individual molecules
Designing soft organic materials able to directly convert light into macroscopic motion represents one of the grand challenges in modern chemistry. Optomechanical properties originate from the collection and amplification of many local deformation events in individual photoswitching entities due to their 3D organization. The basic concept of optomechanics is introduced, related recent achievements in the photoactuation of soft materials are highlighted, and a new approach, based on the optimization of the individual photoresponse at the single-molecule level, is outlined. Optomechanical systems constitute a fundamental approach to alternative utilization of solar energy and a platform for the development of future responsive soft materials and composites.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Highlights in Chemistry