Light-Driven Transport of a Molecular Walker in Either Direction along a Molecular Track


  • We thank the EPSRC National Mass Spectrometry Service Centre (Swansea, UK) for high-resolution mass spectrometry. This research was funded through the European Research Council Advanced Grant WalkingMols. A.G.C. thanks the Fundación Ramón Areces for a postdoctoral fellowship. D.A.L. is an EPSRC Senior Research Fellow and holds a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award.


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Walk this way! A walker unit is able to walk in either direction along a four-foothold molecular track, depending on the sequence of application of four external stimuli: acid, base, UV light, and visible light in the presence of iodine (see picture). The isomerization of the stilbene moiety in the molecular track is key for the achievement of directional transport through a Brownian ratchet mechanism.