Photoresponsive Molecular Switch for Regulating Transmembrane Proton-Transfer Kinetics

Ying Li, Edmund C.M. Tse, Christopher J. Barile, Andrew A. Gewirth, Steven C. Zimmerman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To control proton delivery across biological membranes, we synthesized a photoresponsive molecular switch and incorporated it in a lipid layer. This proton gate was reversibly activated with 390 nm light (Z-isomer) and then deactivated by 360 nm irradiation (E-isomer). In a lipid layer this stimuli responsive proton gate allowed the regulation of proton flux with irradiation to a lipid-buried O2 reduction electrocatalyst. Thus, the catalyst was turned on and off with the E-to-Z interconversion. This light-induced membrane proton delivery system may be useful in developing any functional device that performs proton-coupled electron-transfer reactions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14059-14062
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 11 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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