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Chem Commun (Camb). 2006 Mar 21;(11):1169-78. Epub 2005 Dec 21.

Molecular switches controlled by light.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-1604, USA.


The photochemical processes of singlet-singlet energy transfer and photoinduced electron transfer are important not only in natural and artificial photosynthetic energy conversion, but also in a variety of other scientific and technological applications. Controlling these functions at the molecular level using outside stimuli is an interesting scientific challenge. Photochromes, organic molecules that are isomerized by light between two stable forms, can be covalently linked to other chromophores, and changes in their properties resulting from photoisomerization used to switch electron and energy transfer on or off. Simple single- and double-throw molecular switches have been constructed, as well as Boolean logic gates. Such molecules are potentially useful in light-controlled molecular data processing and storage applications.

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