Assembly and investigation of electrochemically triggered molecular muscles
Third-party funded project
Project title Assembly and investigation of electrochemically triggered molecular muscles
Principal Investigator(s) Mayor, Marcel
Co-Investigator(s) Calame, Michel
Organisation / Research unit Departement Physik / Experimentalphysik Nanoelektronik (Schönenberger),
Departement Chemie / Molecular Devices and Materials (Mayor)
Project Website
Project start 01.01.2014
Probable end 31.12.2017
Status Completed

Mechanically interlinked supramolecular systems are of interest for the design of systems displaying shape
alteration/adaption.1 Particular appealing are systems reacting on an external trigger and thus, catenanes and
rotaxanes comprising electrochemically addressable subunits have been assembled and displayed redox state
dependant mechanical motions.2 Immobilization of the macrocyclic subunits of rotaxanes comprsing two rings
on flexible cantilevers even allowed translating the electrochemically triggered molecular motion into the
macroscopic bending of the substrate.3 In order to assemble a molecular muscle, Sauvage presented the design
concept of a pseudo-rotaxane.4 By attaching the rotaxane axis at the macrocycle’s periphery he obtained a
system forming a supramolecular dimer in which the axis of one molecule is penetrating the macrocycle of the
other. Functionalization of the subunits with different coordination sites allowed altering the expansion of the
structure by varying the coordinating ion.

Financed by Public Administration
University of Basel

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