Azobenzenes as energy transducers in dynamic supramolecular systems

He Huang

Research output: ThesisPhD Thesis - Research UT, graduation UT

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Interfacing molecular photo-switches with supramolecular systems allows developing dynamic smart materials with photo-responsive functions, provided that the energy input from photo-illumination can be converted into different forms, and amplified across multiple length scales. In this thesis, we focus on azobenzene photo-switches as dynamic building blocks, in view of their easy synthesis and functionalization, high extinction coefficient and quantum yields, as well as the changes on both molecular geometry and dipole moment during the photo-isomerization process. A main challenge remaining with the lack of cis- isomer stability, which limits the application by losing the encoded cis- state information. Meanwhile UV-light irradiation is unfavored in bio-environment due to the tissue harmful issue. Thus, we started with study on fluorinated azobenzenes, for their application in supramolecular materials for kinetic control and visible-light controlled switching.
Overall, this thesis demonstrates a bottom-up approach to build dynamic smart materials, from molecular engineering of azobenzene-based switches to their integration into different types of supramolecular materials including liquid crystals, host-guest complexes and colloidal inorganic nano-objects. The future work will keep on developing new engineering strategies and methods of molecular switches, as well as the study of mechanism of transducing molecular switching across multiple length scales.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Twente
  • Katsonis, N., Supervisor
  • Cornelissen, Jeroen, Co-Supervisor
Award date8 Mar 2018
Place of PublicationEnschede
Print ISBNs978-90-365-4496-2
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2018


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