Stomata-Inspired Photomechanical Ion Nanochannels Modified by Azobenzene Composites

Kyoung Yong Chun, Young Jun Son, Sunghwan Jo, Chang Soo Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


A low-powered and highly selective photomechanical sensor system mimicking stomata in the epidermis of leaves harvested from nature is demonstrated. This device uses a light-responsive composite consisting of 4-amino-1,1′-azobenzene-3,4′-disulfonic acid monosodium salt (AZO) and poly(diallyldimethylammonium chloride) (PDDA) coated on a membrane with tens of nanometer-size pores. The ionic current change through the pore channels as a function of pore size variation is then measured. The tran–cis isomerism of AZO–PDDA during light irradiation and the operation mechanism of photomechanical ion channel sensor are discussed and analyzed using UV–vis spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy analysis. It presents the discriminative current levels to the different light wavelengths. The response time of the photoreceptor is about 0.2 s and it consumes very low operating power (≈15 nW) at 0.1 V bias. In addition, it is found that the change of the pore diameter during the light irradiation is due to the photomechanical effect, which is capable of distinguishing light intensity and wavelength.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1703618
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 26

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program (Grant no. 2015R1A2A2A01004751, 2015R1A2A1A01005931) and ERC program (Grant no. NRF-2016R1A5A1010148) through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT and future Planning.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • azobenzene
  • ion channels
  • photomechanical sensors
  • pore actuation
  • stomata

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Biomaterials
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science


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