A molecular machine can be defined as an assembly of a discrete number of molecular components (that is, a supramolecular structure) designed to perform a function through the mechanical movements of its components, which occur under appropriate external stimulation. Hence, molecular machines contain a motor part, that is a device capable of converting energy into mechanical work. Molecular motors and machines operate via nuclear rearrangements and, like their macroscopic counterparts, are characterized by the kind of energy input supplied to make them work, the manner in which their operation can be monitored, the possibility to repeat the operation at will, i.e., establishing a cyclic process, the time scale needed to complete a cycle of operation, and the performed function. Owing to the progress made in several branches of Chemistry, and to the better understanding of the operation mechanisms of molecular machines of the biological world, it has become possible to design and construct simple prototypes of artificial molecular motors and machines. The extension of the concept of machine to the molecular level is of great interest not only for basic research, but also for the growth of nanoscience and the development of nanotechnology. We will illustrate some basic features and design principles of molecular machines, and we will describe a few recent examples of artificial systems, based on rotaxanes, catenanes and related species, taken from our own research.

Artifcial molecular motors and machines: design, principles, and prototype systems

V. Balzani;A. Credi;S. Silvi;M. Venturi;
2005

Abstract

A molecular machine can be defined as an assembly of a discrete number of molecular components (that is, a supramolecular structure) designed to perform a function through the mechanical movements of its components, which occur under appropriate external stimulation. Hence, molecular machines contain a motor part, that is a device capable of converting energy into mechanical work. Molecular motors and machines operate via nuclear rearrangements and, like their macroscopic counterparts, are characterized by the kind of energy input supplied to make them work, the manner in which their operation can be monitored, the possibility to repeat the operation at will, i.e., establishing a cyclic process, the time scale needed to complete a cycle of operation, and the performed function. Owing to the progress made in several branches of Chemistry, and to the better understanding of the operation mechanisms of molecular machines of the biological world, it has become possible to design and construct simple prototypes of artificial molecular motors and machines. The extension of the concept of machine to the molecular level is of great interest not only for basic research, but also for the growth of nanoscience and the development of nanotechnology. We will illustrate some basic features and design principles of molecular machines, and we will describe a few recent examples of artificial systems, based on rotaxanes, catenanes and related species, taken from our own research.
Molecular Machines
1
27
V. Balzani; A. Credi; B. Ferrer; S. Silvi; M. Venturi
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11585/22869
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