Interlocked molecules

Definition

Interlocked molecules are molecular architectures formed from two or more components that are linked together mechanically; the entangled components are not connected through covalent bonds but cannot be separated without breaking a covalent bond. Examples of interlocked molecules include catenanes and rotaxanes.

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    The active template approach to interlocked molecules uses metal ions to both pre-organize reaction components and catalyse the final covalent bond formation that captures the interlocked structure. This Review looks at the history of the method, its application in the synthesis of ever more complex interlocked molecules and future directions.

    • Mathieu Denis
    •  & Stephen M. Goldup
  • Research |

    Woven topologies endow macroscopic objects with mechanical stability, but their molecular counterparts have remained difficult to prepare. Now, an extended triaxial supramolecular weave has been formed by the self-assembly of a judiciously shaped organic building block — a rigid oligoproline segment featuring two perylene-monoimide moieties — through ππ stacking and CH–π interactions.

    • Urszula Lewandowska
    • , Wojciech Zajaczkowski
    • , Stefano Corra
    • , Junki Tanabe
    • , Ruediger Borrmann
    • , Edmondo M. Benetti
    • , Sebastian Stappert
    • , Kohei Watanabe
    • , Nellie A. K. Ochs
    • , Robin Schaeublin
    • , Chen Li
    • , Eiji Yashima
    • , Wojciech Pisula
    • , Klaus Müllen
    •  & Helma Wennemers
  • Research | | open

    In vivo, complex topologies have been identified in proteins and DNA, while their existence in RNA is still unclear. Here, the authors design synthetic topological structures containing single stranded RNA, offering tools for investigating biologically relevant questions about RNA topology.

    • Di Liu
    • , Yaming Shao
    • , Gang Chen
    • , Yuk-Ching Tse-Dinh
    • , Joseph A. Piccirilli
    •  & Yossi Weizmann
  • Research |

    By exploiting structural rigidity, coordination geometries and bond rotational barriers that disfavour the formation of smaller homologues, molecular switches based on [c3] and [c4]daisy chains have been assembled selectively; they display muscle-like motion in multiple dimensions with changes in length of approximately 23% and 36%, respectively.

    • Jia-Cheng Chang
    • , Shin-Han Tseng
    • , Chien-Chen Lai
    • , Yi-Hung Liu
    • , Shie-Ming Peng
    •  & Sheng-Hsien Chiu
    Nature Chemistry 9, 128–134
  • Research | | open

    Crystalline phase transition can be used to detect changes in the solid state properties of materials. Here, the authors describe the mechanical response of a crystal composed of ferrocene-containing rotaxane to laser irradiation.

    • Kai-Jen Chen
    • , Ya-Ching Tsai
    • , Yuji Suzaki
    • , Kohtaro Osakada
    • , Atsushi Miura
    •  & Masaki Horie

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