Photochromic Molecules as Building Blocks for Molecular Electronics


  • Peter Belser Department of Chemistry, University of Fribourg, Chemin du musée 9, CH-1700 Fribourg



Electron transfer, Energy transfer, Metal complexes, Molecular devices, Molecular electronics, Molecular switches, Molecular wires, Photochemistry, Photochromism, Photophysics, Polynuclear complexes


Energy and electron transfer processes can be easily induced by a photonic excitation of a donor metal complex ([Ru(bpy)3]2+), which is connected via a wire-type molecular fragment to an acceptor metal complex ([Os(bpy)3]2+). The rate constant for the transfer process can be determined by emission measurements of the two connected metal complexes. The system can be modified by incorporation of a switching unit or an interrupter into the wire, influencing the transfer process. Such a molecular device corresponds to an interrupter, mimic the same function applied in molecular electronics. We have used organic switches, which show photochromic properties. By irradiation with light of different wavelengths, the switch changes its functionality by a photochemical reaction from an OFF- to an ON-state and vice versa. The ON- respectively OFF-state is manifested by a color change but also in different conductivity properties for energy and electron transfer processes. Therefore, the mentioned molecular device can work as a simple interrupter, controlling the rate of the transfer processes.






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