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Issue 19, 2013
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Reversible light induced conductance switching of asymmetric diarylethenes on gold: surface and electronic studies

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Abstract

We report on the light-induced switching of conductance of a new generation of diarylethene switches embedded in an insulating matrix of dodecanethiol on Au(111), by using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM). The diarylethene switches we synthesize and study are modified diarylethenes where the thiophene unit at one side of the molecular backbone introduces an intrinsic asymmetry into the switch, which is expected to influence its photo-conductance properties. We show that reversible conversion between two distinguishable conductance states can be controlled via photoisomerisation of the switches by using alternative irradiation with UV (λ = 313 nm) or visible (λ > 420 nm) light. We addressed this phenomenon by using STM in ambient conditions, based on switching of the apparent height of the molecules which convert from 4–6 Å in their closed form to 0–1 Å in their open form. Furthermore, the levels of the frontier molecular orbital levels (HOMO and LUMO) were evaluated for these asymmetric switches by using Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy at 77 K, which allowed us to determine a HOMO–LUMO energy gap of 2.24 eV.

Graphical abstract: Reversible light induced conductance switching of asymmetric diarylethenes on gold: surface and electronic studies

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Supplementary files

Article information


Submitted
17 Feb 2013
Accepted
26 Mar 2013
First published
27 Mar 2013

Nanoscale, 2013,5, 9277-9282
Article type
Paper

Reversible light induced conductance switching of asymmetric diarylethenes on gold: surface and electronic studies

Arramel, T. C. Pijper, T. Kudernac, N. Katsonis, M. van der Maas, B. L. Feringa and B. J. van Wees, Nanoscale, 2013, 5, 9277
DOI: 10.1039/C3NR00832K

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