Dark Photoswitching Induces Coulomb Blockade Diamond Collapse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A derivative of the photochromic molecule dihydroazulene (DHA) undergoes bias-induced switching into its vinylheptafulvene (VHF) conformation when inserted into a silver junction. This dark switching mechanism, which induces a collapse of the Coulomb blockade diamonds, is explained by quantum calculations on the molecular transport junction. Analysis of the nonequilibrium populations of molecular redox states explains the observed bias threshold. Predictions are made that another DHA derivative will not, in future experiments, exhibit bias-induced switching. Thus, the dark switching mechanism depends on the structure of the photoswitch. The methodology applies to any molecular junction and offers a versatile tool for answering mechanistic questions.


  • Stine T. Olsen
  • Thorsten Hansen
  • Kurt V. Mikkelsen
External organisations
  • University of Copenhagen
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Physical Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14829-14833
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number27
StatePublished - 2015
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Chemical Physics (S) (011001060)