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Monitoring cis-to-trans isomerization of azobenzene using Brillouin microscopy

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posted on 2024-01-04, 17:00 authored by Zhe Wang, Qiyang Jiang, Chantal Barwig, Ankit Mishra, Krishna Ramesh, Christine Selhuber-Unkel
Brillouin spectroscopy is commonly used to study the acoustic properties of materials. Here we explored its feasibility in studying the photoinduced isomerization of azobenzene. The isomerization of azobenzene changes the solution elastic modulus, and Brillouin scattering is sensitive to these changes. In this study, we experimentally demonstrated the photoswitching of azobenzene in DMSO using our home-made VIPA-based high-resolution optical Brillouin spectrometer, and confirmed the results by ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometry. Remarkable Brillouin frequency shift variations were quantitatively recorded upon irradiation, and it was found that this method can indeed be used to monitor the isomerization process in situ. Importantly, our strategy also allows us to provide the relationship between the ratio of trans- and cis- azobenzene and the Brillouin frequency shift. This shows that Brillouin spectroscopy has broad prospects for the characterization of azobenzene isomerization and other photo responsive materials.

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