Photochemistry: Volume 50
Investigating light-driven rotary molecular motors
Published:09 Dec 2022
Anouk S. Lubbe, Daisy R. S. Pooler, Ben L. Feringa, 2022. "Investigating light-driven rotary molecular motors", Photochemistry: Volume 50, Stefano Crespi, Stefano Protti
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The development of artificial molecular machines and switches over the past thirty years has allowed chemists to control motion at the nanoscale.1–3 Light-driven rotary molecular motors are unique molecules that can undergo unidirectional rotational motion, a movement that can be likened to key components of macroscopic machines we are familiar with, such as wheels and winches.4–8 It can be envisioned that molecular motors can be applied for mechanical functions and as actuators inside larger molecular machines, that can be used to generate useful work on the nanoscale e.g. to drive chemical systems out of equilibrium.9,10 Since their realization in 1999,11 molecular motors have been thoroughly developed over the past two decades to become highly tunable and controllable devices. The field is moving swiftly on from a proof-of-concept to applications – motors have been applied in countless areas, such as asymmetric catalysis,12 responsive surfaces,13,14 self-assembly,15,16 smart materials,17–20 and biological systems,21,22 to name a few.