Interlocked molecules articles from across Nature Portfolio

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

News and Comment

  • News & Views |

    Interlocking macrocyclic carbon nanomaterials is an exciting way to tune their molecular properties, but all-conjugated catenanes and rotaxanes are extremely challenging to make. Now, fully π-conjugated [2]- and [3]catenanes as well as a [3]rotaxane have been prepared through an ‘active metal template’ approach.

    • Satyajit Das
    •  & Fredrik Schaufelberger
    Nature Chemistry 15, 160-162
  • Editorial |

    From the realization of their true nature one hundred years ago to the latest approaches for structuring materials using molecular weaving, high-molecular-weight polymers still have much to offer society.

  • News & Views |

    The adsorption of molecules onto a surface from solution generally proceeds spontaneously by means of an equilibrium process. Now, it has been shown that macrocycles can be pumped onto a MOF substrate through the formation of mechanical bonds in a ratcheting mechanism that results in an out-of-equilibrium state.

    • Liang Zhang
    Nature Chemistry 14, 125-128
  • News & Views |

    Although the natural lasso peptide microcin J25 remains an elusive target for total chemical synthesis itself, this topologically non-trivial building block has now been used to construct a range of interlocked molecular architectures including rotaxanes, catenanes and daisy chains.

    • Jan H. van Maarseveen
    Nature Chemistry 13, 822-823
  • News & Views |

    A new class of interwoven metal–organic containers, including one with a cubic architecture, twelve crossing points and a large internal volume, has now been reported. Interconversion between different self-assembled structures can be triggered by simply exchanging the associated anions.

    • Andrew W. Heard
    • , Natasha M. A. Speakman
    •  & Jonathan R. Nitschke
    Nature Chemistry 13, 824-826