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Stepwise “Dark Photoswitching” of Photochromic Dimers in a Junction

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journal contribution
posted on 21.12.2016, 00:00 by Stine T. Olsen, Thorsten Hansen, Mogens Brøndsted Nielsen, Mark A. Ratner, Kurt V. Mikkelsen
Molecular photoswitches incorporated in a junction present a way to achieve light-controlled conductance switching by photoisomerization. Yet, the two isomers might also interconvert upon charging of the molecule if this results in a change in their relative energies. This behavior (current-induced switching) has been termed dark photoswitching and was observed for the dihydroazulene–vinylheptafulvene couple in a junction. In this theoretical study, we expand this concept to dimeric structures containing two dihydroazulene units linked through meta- or para-phenylene bridges and anchored to the electrodes through different linkers. In particular, we show how stepwise dark photoswitching can be achieved for certain redox states.