University of Limerick
Cazade_2023_High.pdf (2.69 MB)

High performance mechano-optoelectronic molecular switch

Download (2.69 MB)
journal contribution
posted on 2023-09-16, 10:12 authored by Zhenyu Yang, Pierre CazadePierre Cazade, Jin-Liang Lin, Zhou Cao, Ningyue Chen, DongDong Zhang, Lian Duan, Christian A. Nijhuis, DAMIEN THOMPSONDAMIEN THOMPSON, Yuan Li

Highly-efficient molecular photoswitching occurs ex-situ but not to-date inside electronic devices due to quenching of excited states by background interactions. Here we achieve fully reversible in-situ mechano-optoelectronic switching in self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) of tetraphenylethylene molecules by bending their supporting electrodes to maximize aggregation-induced emission (AIE). We obtain stable, reversible switching across >1600 on/off cycles with large on/off ratio of (3.8 ± 0.1) × 103 and 140 ± 10 ms switching time which is 10-100× faster than other approaches. Multimodal characterization shows mechanically-controlled emission with UV-light enhancing the Coulomb interaction between the electrons and holes resulting in giant enhancement of molecular conductance. The best mechano-optoelectronic switching occurs in the most concave architecture that reduces ambient single-molecule conformational entropy creating artificially-tightened supramolecular assemblies. The performance can be further improved to achieve ultra-high switching ratio on the order of 105 using tetraphenylethylene derivatives with more AIE-active sites. Our results promise new applications from optimized interplay between mechanical force and optics in soft electronics.


SSPC_Phase 2

Science Foundation Ireland

Find out more...



Nature Communications, 2023, 14, 5639



Other Funding information

.L. acknowledges National Natural Science Foundation of China (22273045), and Independent Scientific Research Plan for Young Investigator of Tsinghua University. D.T. acknowledges Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for support under Grant Number 12/RC/2275_P2 (SSPC) and for supercomputing resources at the SFI/Higher Education Authority Irish Center for High-End Computing (ICHEC)

Also affiliated with

  • Bernal Institute

Sustainable development goals

  • (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Department or School

  • Physics

Usage metrics

    University of Limerick


    Ref. manager