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Multifunctional materials can be engineered by combining multiple chemical components, each conferring a well-defined function to the ensemble. Graphene is at the centre of an ever-growing research effort due to its combination of unique properties. Here we show that the large conformational change associated with the trans–cis photochemical isomerization of alkyl-substituted azobenzenes can be used to improve the efficiency of liquid-phase exfoliation of graphite, with the photochromic molecules acting as dispersion-stabilizing agents. We also demonstrate reversible photo-modulated current in two-terminal devices based on graphene–azobenzene composites. We assign this tuneable electrical characteristics to the intercalation of the azobenzene between adjacent graphene layers and the resulting increase in the interlayer distance on (photo) switching from the linear trans-form to the bulky cis-form of the …
Nature Publishing Group
Publication date: 
7 Apr 2016

Markus Döbbelin, Artur Ciesielski, Sébastien Haar, Silvio Osella, Matteo Bruna, Andrea Minoia, Luca Grisanti, Thomas Mosciatti, Fanny Richard, Eko Adi Prasetyanto, Luisa De Cola, Vincenzo Palermo, Raffaello Mazzaro, Vittorio Morandi, Roberto Lazzaroni, Andrea C Ferrari, David Beljonne, Paolo Samorì

Biblio References: 
Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Pages: 1-10
Nature communications