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Keywords:

  • azo compounds;
  • density functional calculations;
  • molecular devices;
  • nanotechnology;
  • surface chemistry
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Flip the switch on metals: Coinage metal adsorbed azobenzene is investigated as a prototypical molecular switch. Switching capabilities are not just lost owing to excited-state quenching, but also because of changes in the ground-state energetics (see graph; black=gas phase, gray=Ag(111), yellow=Au(111)). Electron-demanding coadsorbates are suggested as a strategy to regain the switching function.