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Keywords:

  • molecular devices;
  • nanostructures;
  • NMR spectroscopy;
  • rotaxanes;
  • template synthesis
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The long and the short of it: A bistable molecular muscle, based on a doubly threaded Janus-type [2]rotaxane, is assembled using a template-directed self-assembly process. Under the influence of changes in the pH value, the two identical matching components glide along one another through terminal crown ether moieties, bringing about expansion and contraction of the molecule.