Light-driven self-assembly of spiropyran-functionalized covalent organic framework




Das, Gobinda
Prakasam, Thirumurugan
Alkhatib, Nour
AbdulHalim, Rasha G.
Chandra, Falguni
Sharma, Sudhir Kumar
Garai, Bikash
Varghese, Sabu
Addicoat, Matthew A.
Ravaux, Florent

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Controlling the number of molecular switches and their relative positioning within porous materials is critical to their functionality and properties. The proximity of many molecular switches to one another can hinder or completely suppress their response. Herein, a synthetic strategy involving mixed linkers is used to control the distribution of spiropyran-functionalized linkers in a covalent organic framework (COF). The COF contains a spiropyran in each pore which exhibits excellent reversible photo switching behavior to its merocyanine form in the solid state in response to UV/Vis light. The spiro-COF possesses an urchin-shaped morphology and exhibits a morphological transition to 2D nanosheets and vesicles in solution upon UV light irradiation. The merocyanine-equipped COFs are extremely stable and possess a more ordered structure with enhanced photoluminescence. This approach to modulating structural isomerization in the solid state is used to develop inkless printing media, while the photomediated polarity change is used for water harvesting applications.




This work was supported by New York University Abu Dhabi and the NYUAD Water Research Center, funded by Tamkeen under the NYUAD Research Institute Award (project CG007). We thank NYUAD for their generous support for the research program. We thank Sandooq Al Watan for funding (Grant No. SWARD-S22-014, Project ID: PRJ-SWARD-628). The research work was carried out by using the Core Technology Platform resources at NYUAD. Computer simulations were carried out on the High-Performance Computing resources at New York University Abu Dhabi. S.K. and N.A. are funded by the NYUAD research fund AD181. N.S. acknowledge the funding sponsored by the Zayed Center for Health Sciences at the UAE University (Grant #12R113).


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Das, G., Prakasam, T., Alkhatib, N. et al. Light-driven self-assembly of spiropyran-functionalized covalent organic framework. Nat Commun 14, 3765 (2023).