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Controlling Molecular Rotary Motion with a Self-Complexing Lock


  • Financial support from The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO-CW), Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, and the University of Groningen is gratefully acknowledged. We thank Dr. T. Sasaki and Mr. G. London for helpful discussions.


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The key to motion: A second-generation molecular rotary motor, which contains a DB24C8 macrocycle ring incorporated into the lower stator half and a dialkyl ammonium ion attached to the upper rotor half, forms a [1]pseudorotaxane in less polar solvents such as CH2Cl2. In this self-complexing system, acid–base-controlled threading–dethreading movements can be utilized to unlock or lock the molecular motor (see picture).

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