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Keywords:

  • azo compounds;
  • chirality;
  • circular dichroism;
  • isomerization;
  • photochromism
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Shining a light on it: E/Z photoisomerization generates an asymmetric center and the corresponding separable enantiomers in an azobenzene-based prochiral molecule. This asymmetric center is formed by light-induced changes to the substituents on the central atom, and Z/E thermal isomerization regenerates the initial symmetry in the molecule. This switching of the asymmetry can be performed repeatedly.