Researchers solve long-standing butadiene puzzle

Washington – Linear polyenes are hydrocarbon chains with unusual optical and electrical properties. They have become a paradigm for studying photoisomerization — when molecular structures rearrange from absorbing light — because of their straightforward molecular structure, potential for electrical conductivity, and role in vision.

Understanding how these molecules simultaneously rearrange through photoisomerisation could advance materials science research by enabling artificial vision and producing wires from plastic, and new photovoltaic technologies.

Trans 1,3-butadiene, the smallest polyene, has challenged researchers over the past 40 years because of its complex…

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