Sustainable Electronic Materials: Reversible Phototuning of Conductance in a Noncovalent Assembly of MWCNT and Bioresource-Derived Photochromic Molecule

Tuning the microstructure, conductance, band gap of a single molecule with an external stimuli such as light have vital importance in nanoscale molecular electronics. Azobenzene systems are inimitable light responsive molecules suitable for the development of optically modulated materials. In this work we have demonstrated the development of an optically active Multiwalled Carbon Nanotube (MWCNT)-hybrid material by the noncovalent functionalization of azo based chromophore derived from cardanol, a bioresource material. This photoresponsive noncovalent hybrid shows trans–cis photoisomerization induced switching of conductance. We report this as the first example in which the photochromic assembly developed from a bioresource material exhibited tunable conductivity. We expect that this novel photoswitchable hybrid with reversible conductance may have potential applications in nanoscale molecular electronics, solar cells, OLEDs, etc.