Design and Assembly of Rotaxane-Based Molecular Switches and Machines

Authors

  • Wenlong Yang,

    1. CAS Key Laboratory of Organic Solids, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China
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  • Yongjun Li,

    1. CAS Key Laboratory of Organic Solids, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China
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  • Huibiao Liu,

    1. CAS Key Laboratory of Organic Solids, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China
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  • Lifeng Chi,

    1. Physikalisches Institut, Universitat Münster, Wilhelm-Klemm-Strasse 10, 48149 Münster, Germany
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  • Yuliang Li

    Corresponding author
    1. CAS Key Laboratory of Organic Solids, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China
    • CAS Key Laboratory of Organic Solids, Beijing National Laboratory for Molecular Sciences, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, P. R. China.
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Abstract

Mechanically interlocked molecules, such as catenanes and rotaxanes, are at the heart of the development of molecular machines chemistry. They are able to self-organize, self-assemble, and self-control themselves into new materials with potential application as molecular devices. In this review, an overview of some recent progress on molecular machines is given, including new methodologies for their synthesis and self-assembly and their recent applications as dual or multilevel fluorescent molecular switches, as potential sensors, and even as a molecular-level transporter. In one development, a molecular machine containing a charge-transfer chromophore was designed to generate controllable aggregate structures through the reversible movement of a macrocycle over a thread; this was done in order to better understand the application of a molecular shuttle in solid state. Light is shed on how the novel properties and functions of molecular machines are extended, and examples of the ways in which molecular machines have been applied to the design and process of intelligentized systems are provided.

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