Toward real-world applications: promoting fast and efficient photoswitching in the solid state
Photoresponsive materials show the superiorities to be controlled by light in a non-contact, efficient and precise manner, which are therefore attractive in the fields of therapy, pharmacology, semiconductor engineering and nanorobot. However, the isomerization of photoresponsive molecules in the solid state is always hindered, because their planar and conjugated nature results in intermolecular aggregation. This problem becomes the key challenge blocking further development of photoresponsive materials toward real-world applications. In this perspective, we discussed the potential of various photoresponsive molecules (e.g. azobenzene, spiropyran, diarylethene, donor–acceptor Stenhouse adduct) to switch in the solid state by analyzing the molecular structure and isomerization process. Moreover, recent strategies and directions in promoting fast and efficient isomerization of photoresponsive molecules in the solid state are highlighted.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry C Emerging Investigators