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Keywords:

  • azo compounds;
  • isomerization;
  • molecular switches;
  • photochromism;
  • photocontrol
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Two bands make light work: Since the isomerization of azobenzenes is usually induced by UV light, its application is limited in living systems. A new azobenzene switch now operates entirely in the visible range. The new design is based on the introduction of OMe groups in the ortho positions, which splits the n–π* transition into two absorption bands. The two isomeric forms can be obtained with more than 80 % enrichment from the respective photostationary state.