Controlling Motion at the Nanoscale: Rise of the Molecular Machines
John M. Abendroth†, Oleksandr S. Bushuyev‡, Paul S. Weiss*†§, and Christopher J. Barrett*†‡
† California NanoSystems Institute and Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, United States
‡ Department of Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada
§ Department of Materials Science & Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California 90095, United States
ACS Nano, 2015, 9 (8), pp 7746–7768
Publication Date (Web): July 14, 2015
Copyright © 2015 American Chemical Society
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ACS Editors' Choice - This is an open access article published under an ACS AuthorChoice License, which permits copying and redistribution of the article or any adaptations for non-commercial purposes.
As our understanding and control of intra- and intermolecular interactions evolve, ever more complex molecular systems are synthesized and assembled that are capable of performing work or completing sophisticated tasks at the molecular scale. Commonly referred to as molecular machines, these dynamic systems comprise an astonishingly diverse class of motifs and are designed to respond to a plethora of actuation stimuli. In this Review, we outline the conditions that distinguish simple switches and rotors from machines and draw from a variety of fields to highlight some of the most exciting recent examples of opportunities for driven molecular mechanics. Emphasis is placed on the need for controllable and hierarchical assembly of these molecular components to display measurable effects at the micro-, meso-, and macroscales. As in Nature, this strategy will lead to dramatic amplification of the work performed via the collective action of many machines organized in linear chains, on functionalized surfaces, or in three-dimensional assemblies.
amphidynamic crystals; azobenzene; DNA nanotechnology; hierarchical assembly; mechanically interlocked molecules; molecular machines; molecular switches; photomechanical crystals; rotors and motors; thermo/photosalient crystals
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