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Surfactant-Enhanced Photoisomerization and Photomechanical Response in Molecular Crystal Nanowires

Dimethyl-2(3-anthracen-9-yl)allylidene)malonate (DMAAM) is a divinylanthracene derivative that photoisomerizes between its (E) and (Z) conformations. Crystalline nanowires composed of this molecule undergo a rapid coiling motion when exposed to visible light. In this paper, a variety of experimental techniques are used to investigate the mechanism of this transformation, including powder X-ray diffraction, polarized light microscopy, 1H NMR, and absorption spectroscopy. The results show that the presence of a surfactant like cetyltrimethylammonium bromide (CTAB) accelerates the photochemical reaction rate by at least a factor of 10 within the nanowire and is required to observe the photoinduced coiling. The accelerated reaction facilitates the transition to an amorphous phase composed of reactant and photoproduct, which leads to the rapid, large-scale shape changes that the nanowires undergo. Disruption of the highly packed crystal structure by photoisomerization also enhances the dissolution rate by a fa...

Authors:   Fei Tong; Mingyue Liu; Rabih O. Al-Kaysi; Christopher J. Bardeen
Journal:   Langmuir
Year:   2018
DOI:   10.1021/acs.langmuir.7b03848
Publication date:   16-Jan-2018
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • optical microscopy
  • light microscopy
  • light
  • dissolution
  • conformations
  • absorption spectroscopy
More about American Chemical Society Publications
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