Photoswitchable catalyst

Photoswitchable catalyst

The structure and in most cases also the properties of photoswitchable compounds change when irradiated with light of a characteristic wavelength. The most well-known amongst these are the azobenzenes, spiropyrans or diarylethenes.

Together with the Hecht group (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) we investigated the structure and dynamics of a photoswitchable organocatalyst. The obtained information led to an improved understanding of the reactivity. This project raised our appetite in also using photochromic molecules for our purposes.

Thus we currently try to synthesize photoswitchable orienting media under the LOEWE research topic “Soft Control” . Furthermore we investigate the kinetics of the switching behavior of spiropyranes by NMR spectroscopy (together with the Biesalski group).


1 R. S. Stoll, M. V. Peters, A. Kühn, S. Heiles, R. Goddard, M. Bühl, C. M. Thiele, S. Hecht, Photoswitchable Catalysts: Correlating Structure and Conformational Dynamics with Reactivity by a Combined Experimental and Computational Approach, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 357-367.