Dithienylethene-Based Single Molecular Photothermal Linear Actuator

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review



By employing a mechanically controllable break junction technique, we have realized an ideal single molecular linear actuator based on dithienylethene (DTE) based molecular architecture, which undergoes reversible photothermal isomerization when subjected to UV irradiation under ambient conditions. As a result, open form (compressed, UV OFF) and closed form (elongated, UV ON) of dithienylethene-based molecular junctions are achieved. Interestingly, the mechanical actuation is achieved without changing the conductance of the molecular junction around the Fermi level over several cycles, which is an essential property required for an ideal single molecular actuator. Our study demonstrates a unique example of achieving a perfect balance between tunneling width and barrier height change upon photothermal isomerization, resulting in no change in conductance but a change in the molecular length, which results in mechanical actuation at the single molecular level.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202218767
Number of pages8
JournalAngewandte Chemie : a journal of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker ; International edition
Issue number16
Early online date8 Feb 2023
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2023

External IDs

unpaywall 10.1002/anie.202218767
Scopus 85149323238
Mendeley 8da71b3e-7f39-3cda-8dd6-b405f4ad0d91
PubMed 36752105
ORCID /0000-0001-8121-8041/work/142240863