Putting Mechanically Interlocked Molecules to Work

Putting Mechanically Interlocked Molecules to Work

Author: Jonathan Faiz

The first directed synthesis of a catenane was reported 50 years ago by Gottfried Schill and Arthur Lüttringhaus [1]. Over the past 30 years, the field has exploded, and as J. Fraser Stoddart, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA, explains in his Editorial in Angewandte Chemie, mechanically interlocked molecules such as catenanes and rotaxanes have changed from being intellectual curiosities to architectures that have wide ranging applications as components of molecular machines and electronic devices.

Stoddart outlines how the field has developed over the years, and points out that the time is ripe for chemists, materials scientists, and engineers to find real applications for these molecules.


  • [1] The Preparation of Catena Compounds by Directed Synthesis, G. Schill, A. Lüttringhaus, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. Engl. 1964, 3, 546–547. DOI: 10.1002/anie.196405461


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