The lightest rotaxane

Rotaxanes are dumbbell-shaped molecules that are threaded through a separate macrocylic molecule. The two molecules are not chemically bonded to one another but instead are mechanically interlocked – a feature that can be exploited for molecular switches in molecular electronics, actuators and controlled drug release.

In a quest to understand the spatial requirements of these molecules, Suvankar Dasgupta and Jishan Wu from the National University of Singapore have discovered the lightest rotaxane to date. The rotaxanes in question were composed of a dibenzylammonium ion which was threaded through crown ether molecules of various sizes. As a result of their investigations, Dasgupta and Wu found that a [20]crown ether was capable of encompassing the dibenzylammonium dumbbell.

To find out more about this research, download the Chemical Science article today.

Also of interest…

Visit the ChemComm Supramolecular web theme issue for lots more on Rotaxane structures.

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