Azobenzenes in a New Light—Switching In Vivo


  • H.A.W. thanks and the Swiss National Science Foundation for financial support of his research on azobenzene switches.


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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.