Photoactive proton conductor: Poly(4-vinyl pyridine) gel

Naum Berestetsky, Evgenia Vaganova*, Ellen Wachtel, Gregory Leitus, Alexander Goldberg, Shlomo Yitzchaik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


We describe a hydrogen-bonded poly(4-vinyl pyridine)-based dielectric material, in which conductivity can be induced due to the presence of side-chain protonated species that form spontaneously when the polymer is dissolved in pyridine. The conductivity of the proton conductive gel can be controlled by direct irradiation at the proton-transfer center: a reversible change of conductivity was observed in response to the on/off switching of 385 nm wavelength radiation. Over most of the range of intensities used, the proton conductivity exhibited a bimolecular character. We present a model of the protonated pyridine side-chain unit in the ground and excited states (DFT level). In the ground state, the protonated pyridine moiety has a cyclic, conjugated structure.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)3662-3667
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry B
Issue number12
StatePublished - 27 Mar 2008


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