The four step sequence that leads to unidirectional rotation of a light-driven molecular motor based on a sterically crowded alkene is depicted. In their Perspective article, Ben Feringa, Sander Wezenberg and co-workers describe how this concept has been exploited to dynamically control the function of molecular systems. Applications in catalysis, chirality transfer, co-operative action and the control of biological properties are described. The article highlights future challenges that will be necessary in order to fully exploit the molecular motor blueprint.
See: van Leeuwen, T., Lubbe, A. S., Štacko, P. Wezenberg S. J. & Feringa, B. L. Dynamic control of function by light-driven molecular motorsw. Nat. Rev. Chem. 1, 0096 (2017).