We demonstrate significant photoresponsivity in aqueous media to visible light of pseudo-oligonucleotides possessing 4-(dimethylamino)azobenzene (4-DMAzo) side chains. The spectrum of the 4-DMAzo moiety during 436 nm light irradiation at pH >9 was clearly different from that of the all (E)-form, indicating the presence of the (Z)-form. Thermal (Z)-to-(E) recovery isomerization was faster at pH 9 (kZ-E = ∼101 s-1) than at pH 11; however, addition of 50% ethanol significantly slowed the thermal recovery isomerization at pH 9 (kZ-E = ∼2 s-1) and increased the magnitude of the spectral changes. Significant photoregulation of DNA hybridization by visible light was demonstrated under this condition.
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