Effect of Immobilization on Gold on the Temperature Dependence of Photochromic Switching of Dithienylethenes

Abstract

We report the properties and switching characteristics of a series of dithienylethene photochromic switches immobilized on gold. Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of three structurally related dithienylethenes were formed on roughened gold bead substrates and studied by surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). These data were compared to SERS spectra obtained by aggregation of colloidal gold, solid state Raman spectra, and Raman spectra calculated using density functional theory (DFT). Two of the dithienylethenes studied have an “asymmetric” design, which was demonstrated earlier to lower the thermal barrier for photochemical ring opening in solution. Herein, we show that, when immobilized on a gold surface, the asymmetric dithienylethenes in fact display a higher thermal barrier than that of their symmetric counterparts. In addition, we show that photochemical ring closing of asymmetric dithienylethenes is inhibited when immobilized on gold

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