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Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Nov 14;91(20):207402. Epub 2003 Nov 14.

One-way optoelectronic switching of photochromic molecules on gold.

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Physics of Nanodevices, Materials Science Centre, Nijenborgh 4, 9747 AG Groningen, The Netherlands.


We investigate photochromic molecular switches that are self-assembled on gold. We use two experimental techniques; namely, the mechanically controllable break-junction technique to measure electronic transport, and UV/Vis spectroscopy to measure absorption. We observe switching of the molecules from the conducting to the insulating state when illuminated with visible light (lambda=546 nm), in spite of the gold surface plasmon absorption present around this wavelength. However, we fail to observe the reverse process which should occur upon illumination with UV light (lambda=313 nm). We attribute this to quenching of the excited state of the molecule in the open form by the presence of gold.

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