A photoswitchable ligand and palladium(II) ions form a dynamic mixture of self-assembled metallosupramolecular structures. The photoswitching ligand is an ortho-fluoroazobenzene with appended pyridyl groups. The E-isomer is combined with palladium(II) salts affords a double-walled triangle with composition [Pd3L6]6+ and a distorted tetrahedron [Pd4L8]8+(1:2 ratio at 298 K). Irradiation with 410 nm light generates a photostationary state with ~80% of the E-isomer of the ligand which results in the selective disassembly of the tetrahedron, the more thermodynamically stable structure, and the formation of the triangle, the kinetic product. The triangle is then slowly transformed back into the tetrahedron over 2 days at 333 K. The Z-isomer of the ligand does not form any well-defined structures and has a thermal half-life of 25 days at 298K. This approach shows how a thermodynamically preferred self-assembled structure can be reversibly pumped to a kinetic trap by small perturbations of the isomer distribution using non-destructive visible light.
All the NMR data for this work
Photoswitching data for 3
Photoswitching data for 4
Characterisation of self-assembled species
Binding constant measurments
Self-assembly with Z-3 and Pd(II)
Self-assembly of E-3 with a more soluble Pd(II) complex
NMR data for Pd(tty)(MeCN) with 3-methylpyridine or ligand E-3.