Molecular switching is a phenomenon in which the molecular structure reversibly changes in response to external stimulation. It is crucial in biology and is used in various biological sensing applications and responses. In contrast to the well-studied molecular switching involving two or more thermodynamically stable states, switching involving metastable states exhibits notable non-equilibrium thermodynamic properties. Synthetic chiral helicene oligomeric foldamers that exhibit molecular thermal hysteresis in dilute solution are examples. Molecular switching can be used for sensing environmental changes, including temperature threshold, temperature decrease/increase, rate of temperature decrease, counting the numbers 1 and 2, and concentration increase.