Interlocked molecules

Moving into another dimension

Molecular daisy-chain structures are typically made up of two interlocked components and can exhibit muscle-like contraction and extension in one dimension. Zinc-based multicomponent systems that can operate in two and three dimensions have now been designed and synthesized.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Schematic representations of rotaxane dimers and molecular muscles reported so far.
Figure 2: The assembly and switching of three- and four-component daisy-chain molecular muscles.


  1. 1

    Rotzler, J. & Mayor, M. Chem. Soc. Rev. 42, 44–62 (2013).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Niess, F., Duplan, V. & Sauvage, J.-P. Chem. Lett. 43, 964–974 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Jiménez, M. C., Dietrich-Buchecker, C. & Sauvage, J.-P. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 39, 3284–3287 (2000).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Coutrot, F., Romuald, C. & Busseron, E. Org. Lett. 10, 3741–3744 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Wu, J. et al. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 47, 7470–7474 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Dawson, R. E., Lincoln, S. F. & Easton, C. J. Chem. Commun. 3980–3982 (2008).

  7. 7

    Romuald, C., Busseron, E. & Coutrot, F. J. Org. Chem. 75, 6516–6531 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Bruns, C. J. et al. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 53, 1953–1958 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Bruns, C. J. et al. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 136, 4714–4723 (2014).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Romuald, C., Arda, A., Clavel, C., Jimé nez-Barbero, J. & Coutrot, F. Chem. Sci. 3, 1851–1857 (2012).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11

    Chang, J.-C. et al. Nat. Chem. 9, 128–134 (2016).10.1038/nchem.2608

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Frédéric Coutrot.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Fournel-Marotte, K., Coutrot, F. Moving into another dimension. Nature Chem 9, 105–106 (2017).

Download citation

Further reading


Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing