Light-Controlled Interconversion between a Self-Assembled Triangle and a Rhombicuboctahedral Sphere

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Stimuli-responsive structural reorganizations play an important role in biological processes, often in combination with kinetic control scenarios. In supramolecular mimics of such systems, light has been established as the perfect external trigger. Here, we report on the light-driven structural rearrangement of a small, self-assembled Pd3L6 ring based on photochromic dithienylethene (DTE) ligands into a rhombicuboctahedral Pd24L48 sphere measuring about 6.4 nm across. When the wavelength is changed, this interconversion can be fully reversed, as confirmed by NMR and UV/Vis spectroscopy as well as mass spectrometry. The sphere was visualized by AFM, TEM, and GISAXS measurements. Due to dissimilarities in the photoswitch conformations, the interconversion rates between the two assemblies are drastically different in the two directions ​
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