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We report the fast cis-trans isomerization of an amine-substituted azobenzene catalyzed by graphene oxide (GO), where the amine functionality facilitates the charge transfer from azobenzene to graphene oxide in contrast to non-substituted azobenzene. This catalytic effect was not observed in stilbene analogues, which strongly supports the existence of different isomerization pathways between azobenzene and stilbene. The graphene oxide catalyzed isomerization is expected to be useful as a new photoisomerization based sensing platform complementary to GO-based fluorescence quenching methods.


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