A Photobasic Functional Group

Jie He, Flora W. Kimani, John C. Jewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Controlling chemical reactivity using light is a longstanding practice within organic chemistry, yet little has been done to modulate the basicity of compounds. Reported herein is a triazabutadiene that is rendered basic upon photoisomerization. The pH of an aqueous solution containing the water-soluble triazabutadiene can be adjusted with 350 nm light. Upon synthesizing a triazabutadiene that is soluble in aprotic organic solvents, we noted a similar light-induced change in basicity. As a proof of concept we took this photobase and used it to catalyze a condensation reaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9764-9767
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number31
StatePublished - Aug 12 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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