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 19.03.2009   Карта сайта     Language По-русски По-английски
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19.03.2009

Nature 458, 314-318 (19 March 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature07847; Received 16 November 2008; Accepted 29 January 2009



Hybrid organic–inorganic rotaxanes and molecular shuttles


Chin-Fa Lee1, David A. Leigh1, Robin G. Pritchard2, David Schultz1, Simon J. Teat3, Grigore A. Timco2 & Richard E. P. Winpenny2




  1. School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, The King's Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JJ, UK
  2. School of Chemistry, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK
  3. Advanced Light Source, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, 1 Cyclotron Road, MS2-400, Berkeley, California 94720, USA


Correspondence to: David A. Leigh1Richard E. P. Winpenny2 Correspondence and requests for materials should be addressed to D.A.L. (Email: david.leigh@ed.ac.uk) or R.E.P.W. (Email: richard.winpenny@manchester.ac.uk).





The tetravalency of carbon and its ability to form covalent bonds with itself and other elements enables large organic molecules with complex structures, functions and dynamics to be constructed. The varied electronic configurations and bonding patterns of inorganic elements, on the other hand, can impart diverse electronic, magnetic, catalytic and other useful properties to molecular-level structures. Some hybrid organic–inorganic materials that combine features of both chemistries have been developed, most notably metal–organic frameworks1, dense and extended organic–inorganic frameworks2 and coordination polymers3. Metal ions have also been incorporated into molecules that contain interlocked subunits, such as rotaxanes4, 5, 6, 7 and catenanes6, 8, and structures in which many inorganic clusters encircle polymer chains have been described9. Here we report the synthesis of a series of discrete rotaxane molecules in which inorganic and organic structural units are linked together mechanically at the molecular level. Structural units (dialkyammonium groups) in dumb-bell-shaped organic molecules template the assembly of essentially inorganic 'rings' about 'axles' to form rotaxanes consisting of various numbers of rings and axles. One of the rotaxanes behaves as a 'molecular shuttle'10: the ring moves between two binding sites on the axle in a large-amplitude motion typical of some synthetic molecular machine systems11, 12, 13, 14, 15. The architecture of the rotaxanes ensures that the electronic, magnetic and paramagnetic characteristics of the inorganic rings—properties that could make them suitable as qubits for quantum computers16, 17, 18—can influence, and potentially be influenced by, the organic portion of the molecule.



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  • Chen Wev .  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Harton Vladislav Vadim  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Lichtenstain Alexandr Iosif  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Novikov Dimirtii Leonid  honorary member of ISSC science council

  • Yakushev Mikhail Vasilii  honorary member of ISSC science council

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