The innovation engine for new materials

Samantha Ogata

Samantha Ogata


Chemistry & Biochemistry


New Mexico Highlands University


Julie Peterson

Faculty Sponsor(s): 

Javier Read de Alaniz

Faculty Sponsor's Department(s): 

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Project Title: 

Open, Close, Decompose – Looking at the Complex Reactivity of DASAs

Project Description: 

Donor-acceptor Stenhouse adducts (DASAs) are a new class of organic photoswitch, which have many applications in materials and biological sciences.  DASAs consist of an amine donor and a carbon acid acceptor separated by a triene. They have a highly colored linear open form and upon introduction to a visible light source they reversibly switch to a colorless closed form. The speed of switching and the equilibrium of the open form varies depending on the donor, acceptor, and the solvent. DASA derivatives tend to have a low equilibrium of the open form in polar solvents, meaning that the closed form is typically more present than the open form in solvents of a higher polarity. In earlier work, a substitution of a methyl on the 5 position of the triene increased the equilibrium of the open form, but this has also resulted in reversion to furan adduct, a starting material of DASA. To further improve the stability of DASA and avoid decomposition to the furan adduct, an understanding of what factors influence decomposition needs to be further investigated. Some factors that will be researched include temperature, solvent polarity, amine group, and carbon acid, most of which will be monitored through UV-Vis. This study will aid in the future design of DASAs with improved stability.