A chemically and electrochemically switchable molecular shuttle

R. A. Bissell, E. Cordova, Angel Kaifer, J. F. Stoddart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

920 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The developing field of nanotechnology has generated wide interest across a broad range of scientific disciplines. In particular, the realization of nanoscale switching devices might have far-reaching implications for computing and biomimetic engineering. But miniaturization of existing semiconductor technology may not be the best approach to the fabrication of structures whose dimensions are smaller than the wavelength of the radiation used in optical lithography and etching techniques. The approach observed in the natural world, whereby nanostructures are built up through the self-assembly of smaller molecular entities, holds substantial promise. Nature abounds with molecular switching devices which perform a variety of functions, such as the transport of metabolites across cell membranes or the signalling of nerve impulses. These processes are commonly controlled by stimuli such as changes in ion concentrations and electrical potentials. Here we report the synthesis of a supramolecular structure (compound 1·[PF 6] 4, Fig. 1A) that can be reversibly switched between two states by proton concentration changes or by electrochemical means. The supermolecule is a rotaxane comprising a molecular ring threaded on an axle containing two 'docking points'. We can effect controlled switching of the ring from one of these positions to the other. We use 1H NMR and ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy to characterize the dynamics of the bead's movement along the thread before and after switching.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-137
Number of pages5
JournalNature
Volume369
Issue number6476
DOIs
StatePublished - May 24 1994

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Rotaxanes
Ultraviolet visible spectroscopy
Axles
Biomimetics
Photolithography
Cell membranes
Metabolites
Nanotechnology
Self assembly
Protons
Etching
Nanostructures
Nuclear magnetic resonance
Ions
Semiconductor materials
Radiation
Fabrication
Wavelength

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Cite this

Bissell, R. A., Cordova, E., Kaifer, A., & Stoddart, J. F. (1994). A chemically and electrochemically switchable molecular shuttle. Nature, 369(6476), 133-137. https://doi.org/10.1038/369133a0

A chemically and electrochemically switchable molecular shuttle. / Bissell, R. A.; Cordova, E.; Kaifer, Angel; Stoddart, J. F.

In: Nature, Vol. 369, No. 6476, 24.05.1994, p. 133-137.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bissell, RA, Cordova, E, Kaifer, A & Stoddart, JF 1994, 'A chemically and electrochemically switchable molecular shuttle' Nature, vol. 369, no. 6476, pp. 133-137. https://doi.org/10.1038/369133a0
Bissell, R. A. ; Cordova, E. ; Kaifer, Angel ; Stoddart, J. F. / A chemically and electrochemically switchable molecular shuttle. In: Nature. 1994 ; Vol. 369, No. 6476. pp. 133-137.
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