Can e and z isomers be interconverted?

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Dec 7, 2016

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Yes but it's tricky, the trick in organic synthesis is to make them the way you want them to begin with - stereoselectively if at all possible.

Explanation:

N=N double bonds can be interconverted by light however and this leads to really cool compounds such as azobenzenes that can be linked to other molecules and you can control their conformation by shining light on them.
So-called photoswitches when linked to proteins for example can be used to switch on or switch off DNA transcription in cells. This is an active area of research with the potential to cure cancers for example.

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