Dynamic Control and Amplification of Molecular Chirality by Circular Polarized Light

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Science  20 Sep 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5282, pp. 1686-1688
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5282.1686


The enantiomers of a racemic photoresponsive material represent two distinct states that can be modulated with irradiation at a single wavelength by changing the handedness ofthe light. Dynamic control over molecular chirality was obtained by the interconversion of enantiomers of helically shaped molecules with either left or right circular polarized light (CPL). Photoresolution of the bistable compound as a dopant in a nematic liquid crystalline phase by CPL irradiation led to a chiral mesoscopic phase. The chiral information inherent to CPL is therefore transmitted to the bistable molecule, followed by amplification and macroscopic expression of the chirality.

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