The first example of a -rotaxane in which a perylene diimide acts as a recognition site has been synthesised and characterised. The interlocked nature of the compound has been verified by both NMR studies and an X-ray structure determination. Electrochemical investigations confirm that the nature of the redox processes associated with the perylene diimide are modified by the complexation process and that it is possible to mono-reduce the -rotaxane to give a radical anion based rotaxane. Further reduction of the compound leads to de-threading of the macrocycle from the reduced PTCDI recognition site. Our synthetic strategies confirm the potential of PTCDI-based rotaxanes as viable targets for the preparation of complex interlocked species.
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