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Keywords:

  • azo compounds;
  • isomerization;
  • molecular devices;
  • molecular electronics;
  • monolayers
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

We have liftoff! Tightly packed self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of ultrarigid conjugated azobenzenes incorporated into a Hg-based junction undergo reversible photoisomerization (see picture). The current–voltage curves indicate that the junction operates as a current photoswitch as result of the forces expressed by the SAMs, which act as a light-powered cargo lifter.