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Keywords:

  • isoindolinone;
  • molecular devices;
  • multi-stable switch;
  • photochemistry;
  • propeller
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

Switched on! A tetra-stable switch has been synthesized in two steps, utilizing photoresponsive isoindolinone moieties. Sequential E–Z isomerization induced by 365 nm light results in a propeller switching action that is reversible using 458 nm light, acid, and high temperature (see scheme).