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Unraveling a Chemically Enhanced Photoswitch: Bridged Azobenzene


  • We are grateful to VW-Stiftung and to FCI for funding. The simulations were performed at NIC Jülich, Bovilab@RUB, and RV-NRW.


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Counterintuitively improved photoswitching properties of bridged azobenzene compared to the unbridged counterpart (see picture) were demonstrated recently. Mechanistic insights obtained from nonadiabatic ab initio molecular dynamics reveal that the bridge suitably preorients the phenyl rings and thus enhances the EZ quantum yield and shortens the lifetime of the first excited state.