Photosensitive azobenzene molecules are potential molecular switches for a
nanoscale optoelectronic device due to their properties that are based on fast,
light-driven processes (1). An azobenzene derivative, 6,6'-difluoro-2,2'-
dinitroazobenzene, is obtained in high yield (almost double) compared to other
halogenated derivatives (2). Also, the fluorines on 6,6'-difluoro-2,2'-
dinitroazobenzene can be easily displaced, thus allowing nucleophilic
displacement to produce other derivatives. Optimizing the synthesis of 6,6'-
difluoro-2,2'-dinitroazobenzene from 2-fluoro-6-nitroaniline by studying the effects of several reaction conditions, including heat, solvent, and concentration of
oxidizing agent, will eventually and potentially lead to a route that produces the
(1) Zhang, C.; Du, M.-H.; Cheng, H.-P.; Zhang, X.-G.; Roitberg, A. E.; Krause, J. L. Phys.Rev. Lett. 2004, 92, 158301-158304.
(2) Erdman, P. J. M.S. Thesis, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, 2006, 37-50.