Novel Photoswitching using Azobenzene Functional Materials


Yager, K.G.; Barrett, C.J. "Novel Photoswitching using Azobenzene Functional Materials" Journal of Photochemistry and Photobiology A: Chemistry 2006, 182 250.
doi: 10.1016/j.jphotochem.2006.04.021


This review covers all aspects of azobenzene photo-chemistry. In particular, it discusses how the molecular photo-isomerization of azobenzene chromophores have been used to generate photo-switchable materials. Interesting results from photo-biological experiments are highlighted.


Azobenzene (azo) chromophores have been incorporated into a wide variety of materials and molecular architectures, including polymers, dendrimers, and molecular glasses. Azobenzene exhibits a uniquely clean and efficient photochemistry, with facile geometric isomerization about the azo bond, converting the molecule from trans to cis. This review discusses the extensive number of investigations of azobenzene photo-switching and photo-modulation. In particular, azos can be used to alter material behaviour with light, switching both molecular and macroscopic properties. A large number of photobiological studies have shown that interfacing the azo chromophore with enzymes and biopolymers is feasible and useful. The all-optical surface patterning unique to azobenzenes is also reviewed. Lastly, azobenzene photomechanical effects are discussed.