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Effect of Ring Strain on the Charge Transport of a Robust Norbornadiene-Quadricyclane-Based Molecular Photoswitch.

  • Author(s): Tebikachew, Behabitu E
  • Li, Haipeng B
  • Pirrotta, Alessandro
  • Börjesson, Karl
  • Solomon, Gemma C
  • Hihath, Joshua
  • Moth-Poulsen, Kasper
  • et al.
Abstract

Integrating functional molecules into single-molecule devices is a key step toward the realization of future computing machines based on the smallest possible components. In this context, photoswitching molecules that can make a transition between high and low conductivity in response to light are attractive candidates. Here we present the synthesis and conductance properties of a new type of robust molecular photothermal switch based on the norbornadiene (NB)-quadricyclane (QC) system. The transport through the molecule in the ON state is dominated by a pathway through the π-conjugated system, which is no longer available when the system is switched to the OFF state. Interestingly, in the OFF state we find that the same pathway contributes only 12% to the transport properties. We attribute this observation to the strained tetrahedral geometry of the QC. These results challenge the prevailing assumption that current will simply flow through the shortest through-bond path in a molecule.

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