Correlating Reaction Dynamics and Size Change during the Photomechanical Transformation of 9-Methylanthracene Single Crystals
Photomechanical molecular crystals that expand under illumination could potentially be used as photon-powered actuators. In this study, we find that the use of high-quality single crystals of 9-methylanthracene (9MA) leads to more homogeneous reaction kinetics than that previously seen for polycrystalline samples, presumably due to a lower concentration of defects. Furthermore, simultaneous observation of absorbance and shape changes in single crystals revealed that the dimensional change mirrors the reaction progress, resulting in a smooth expansion of 7 % along the c-axis that is linearly correlated with reaction progress. The same expansion dynamics are highly reproducible across different single crystal samples. Organic single crystals exhibit well-defined linear expansions during 100 % photoconversion, suggesting that this class of solid-state phase change material could be used for actuation.
Journal or Book Title
Angewandte Chemie International Edition