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Solution and solid state photochromism in a family of shape persistent azobenzene tetramers functionalized with alkyloxy substituents

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Abstract

Shape-persistent azobenzene tetramers functionalized at the periphery with alkyloxy substituents of different lengths have been synthesized and their photochemical behaviour has been investigated. Efficient EZ photoisomerization of the azobenzene units takes place both in solution and in the solid state, a highly desirable yet uncommon property for azobenzene-type photochromic compounds. The solid state EZ photoisomerization is accompanied by an isothermal crystal–amorphous phase transformation; successively, anisotropic crystals can be grown upon promoting the ZE isomerization by thermal annealing of the irradiated samples. These results validate the strategy of engineering multiphotochromic architectures with a rigid star-shaped geometry to preserve the solution-based photoreactivity also in the solid state. The observed unexpected photoinduced alignment makes these materials potentially attractive for the development of photo-patternable and photo-responsive surfaces.

Graphical abstract: Solution and solid state photochromism in a family of shape persistent azobenzene tetramers functionalized with alkyloxy substituents

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Jan 2019, accepted on 25 Mar 2019 and first published on 10 Apr 2019


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C9PP00022D
Citation: Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2019, Advance Article

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    Solution and solid state photochromism in a family of shape persistent azobenzene tetramers functionalized with alkyloxy substituents

    J. Vialetto, J. Groppi, M. La Rosa, S. Silvi, A. Credi and M. Baroncini, Photochem. Photobiol. Sci., 2019, Advance Article , DOI: 10.1039/C9PP00022D

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