Substrate-Bound Diarylethene-Based Anisotropic Metal–Organic Framework Films as Photoactuators with a Directed Response

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


  • Yunzhe Jiang - , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Author)
  • Yidong Liu - , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Author)
  • Sylvain Grosjean - , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Author)
  • Volodymyr Bon - , Chair of Inorganic Chemistry I (Author)
  • Patrick Hodapp - , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Author)
  • Anemar Bruno Kanj - , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Author)
  • Stefan Kaskel - , Chair of Inorganic Chemistry I (Author)
  • Stefan Bräse - , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Author)
  • Christof Wöll - , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Author)
  • Lars Heinke - , Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Author)


Molecular machines and responsive materials open a plethora of new opportunities in nanotechnology. We present an oriented crystalline array of diarylethene (DAE)-based photoactuators, arranged in a way to yield an anisotropic response. The DAE units are assembled, together with a secondary linker, into a monolithic surface-mounted metal–organic framework (SURMOF) film. By Infrared (IR) and UV/Vis spectroscopy as well as by synchrotron X-ray diffraction, we show that the light-induced extension changes of the molecular DAE linkers multiply to yield mesoscopic and anisotropic length changes. Due to the special architecture and substrate-bonding of the SURMOF, these length changes are transferred to the macroscopic scale, leading to the bending of a cantilever and performing work. This research shows the potential of assembling light-powered molecules into SURMOFs to yield photoactuators with a directed response, presenting a path to advanced actuators.


Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202218052
Number of pages8
JournalAngewandte Chemie - International Edition
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 8 May 2023

External IDs

PubMed 36808409
WOS 000959652100001



  • Diarylethene, Metal-Organic Frameworks, Photo-Switching, Photoactuator, Thin Films