A chemical reaction controlled by light-activated molecular switches based on hetero-cyclopentanediyls
Molecular switches are molecules that can reversibly be shifted between at least two stable states with different physical and chemical properties, making them interesting for application as chemical sensors or molecular machines. We recently discovered that five-membered, cyclic biradicals based on group 15 elements are efficient and robust photochemical switches that can be activated by red light. The quantum yield of the photo-isomerization is as high as 24.6%, and the thermal equilibration of the photo-activation product proceeds rapidly at ambient temperature. The fully reversible process was studied by experimental and high-level ab initio techniques. We could further demonstrate that the biradical character could be completely turned on and off, so the system could be applied to control chemical equilibria that involve activation products of the cyclic biradicals.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2019 Chemical Science HOT Article Collection