Photoswitching an isolated donor-acceptor Stenhouse adduct

James N. Bull, Eduardo Carrascosa, Neil Mallo, Michael S. Scholz, Gabriel Da Silva, Jonathon E. Beves, Evan J. Bieske

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47 Citations (Scopus)


Donor-acceptor Stenhouse adducts (DASAs) are a new class of photoswitching molecules with excellent fatigue resistance and synthetic tunability. Here, tandem ion mobility mass spectrometry coupled with laser excitation is used to characterize the photocyclization reaction of isolated, charge-tagged DASA molecules over the 450-580 nm range. The experimental maximum response at 530 nm agrees with multireference perturbation theory calculations for the S1 ← S0 transition maximum at 533 nm. Photocyclization in the gas phase involves absorption of at least two photons; the first photon induces Z-E isomerization from the linear isomer to metastable intermediate isomers, while the second photon drives another E-Z isomerization and 4-electrocyclization reaction. Cyclization is thermally reversible in the gas phase with collisional excitation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)665-671
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry Letters
Issue number3
Early online date22 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2018

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