This work demonstrates how push-pull substitution can induce spectral tuning toward the visible range and improve the photoisomerization efficiency of azobenzene-based photoswitches, making them good candidates for technological and biological applications. The red-shifted bright ππ∗ state (S2) behaves like the lower and more productive dark nπ∗ (S1) state because less potential energy along the planar bending mode is available to reach higher energy unproductive nπ*/S0 crossing regions, which are responsible for the lower quantum yield of the parent compound. The stabilization of the bright ππ∗ state and the consequent increase in isomerization efficiency may be regulated via the strength of push-pull substituents. Finally, the torsional mechanism is recognized here as the unique productive route because structures with bending values attributable to the inversion mechanism were never detected, out of the 280 ππ∗ time-dependent density functional theory (RASPT2-validated) dynamics simulations.

Spectral Tuning and Photoisomerization Efficiency in Push-Pull Azobenzenes: Designing Principles

Aleotti F.;Nenov A.;Salvigni L.;Bonfanti M.;Giunchi A.;Gentile M.;Spallacci C.;Ventimiglia A.;Cirillo G.;Scurti S.;Garavelli M.;Conti I.
2020

Abstract

This work demonstrates how push-pull substitution can induce spectral tuning toward the visible range and improve the photoisomerization efficiency of azobenzene-based photoswitches, making them good candidates for technological and biological applications. The red-shifted bright ππ∗ state (S2) behaves like the lower and more productive dark nπ∗ (S1) state because less potential energy along the planar bending mode is available to reach higher energy unproductive nπ*/S0 crossing regions, which are responsible for the lower quantum yield of the parent compound. The stabilization of the bright ππ∗ state and the consequent increase in isomerization efficiency may be regulated via the strength of push-pull substituents. Finally, the torsional mechanism is recognized here as the unique productive route because structures with bending values attributable to the inversion mechanism were never detected, out of the 280 ππ∗ time-dependent density functional theory (RASPT2-validated) dynamics simulations.
Aleotti F.; Nenov A.; Salvigni L.; Bonfanti M.; El-Tahawy M.M.; Giunchi A.; Gentile M.; Spallacci C.; Ventimiglia A.; Cirillo G.; Montali L.; Scurti S.; Garavelli M.; Conti I.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/785169
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