The University Jaume I (UJI), together with researchers
from the CSIC and the Universitat Politècnica
de València, has patented a new compound whose
physico-chemical characteristics open up a wide range
of technological applications. The compound is one
of the metallodendrimers, which are molecules that
undergo reversible changes in their structure as a
response to an external stimulus and which could,
therefore, act as molecular switches.
The design and synthesis of hyperbranched macromolecules
(dendrimers) that include metals in their structure
has become increasingly more important in recent years.
The desire to develop this type of materials stems
from the need to obtain highly ordered compounds with
magnetic, electronic and optical properties, which
are of great technological interest. The molecule
patented by the UJI covers this need, as these physico-chemical
properties allow it to change its structure when it
is submitted to an oxidation process or to a light
stimulus and then regain its original form when the
stimulus disappears. The compound therefore acts as
a genuine molecular switch.
new family of molecules opens up a wide range of possibilities
in the research and design of machines on a molecular
scale, which would have important implications in
scientific fields such as molecular detection systems
or chemical sensors, the design of chemically controlled
switches, electro-optical modulation and data storage,”
the researchers explain.
molecule can also be used to detect the presence of
a certain light radiation that is invisible to the
human eye at a particular wavelength, such as ultraviolet
rays, in places where the slightest amount of radiation
could be extremely harmful.
now need to find new systems that enable them to obtain
a macroscopic view of the changes that have been observed
on a molecular level. This type of applications would
make it possible to design, for example, patches that
bathers could use at the seaside to warn them when
it is no longer wise to sunbathe. To develop this
and other applications, the researchers are seeking
partners with whom to exploit the patent.