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Photo-isomerization of azobenzene containing surfactants induced by near-infrared light using upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) as mediator.

07:00 EST 9th January 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Photo-isomerization of azobenzene containing surfactants induced by near-infrared light using upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) as mediator."

Here we report on photo-isomerization of azobenzene containing surfactants induced during irradiation with near-infrared (NIR) light in the presence of upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) acting as mediator. The surfactant molecule consists of charged head group and hydrophobic tail with azobenzene group incorporated in alkyl chain. The azobenzene group can be reversible photo-isomerized between two states: trans- and cis- by irradiation with light of appropriate wavelength. The trans-cis photo-isomerization is induced by UV light, while cis-trans isomerization proceeds either thermally in dark, or can be accelerated by exposing to illumination with longer wavelength typically in blue/green range. We present the application of lanthanide doped upconversion nanoparticles (UCNPs) to successfully switch azobenzene containing surfactants from cis to trans conformation in bulk solution using NIR light. Using Tm or Er as activator ions, the UCNPs provide emission in the spectral range of 450 nm < λ<sub>em</sub> < 480 nm (for Tm<sup>3+</sup>, three and four photon induced emission) or 525 nm < λ<sub>em</sub> < 545 nm (for Er<sup>3+</sup>, two photon induced emission), respectively. Especially for UCNPs containing Tm<sup>3+</sup> a good overlap of the emission with the absorption bands of the azobenzene is present. Under illumination of the surfactant solution with NIR light (λ<sub>ex</sub>= 976 nm) in the presence of the Tm<sup>3+</sup>-doped UCNPs, the relaxation time of cis-trans photo-isomerization was increased by almost 20-times compared to thermally induces isomerization. The influence of thermal heating due to the irradiation using NIR light was shown to be minor for solvents not absorbing in NIR spectral range (e.g., CHCl<sub>3</sub>) in contrast to water, which shows a distinct absorption in the NIR.

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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Journal of physics. Condensed matter : an Institute of Physics journal
ISSN: 1361-648X
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