Changing stations in single bistable rotaxane molecules under electrochemical control

Tao Ye, Ajeet S. Kumar, Sourav Saha, Tomohide Takami, Tony J. Huang, J. Fraser Stoddart, Paul S. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


We have directly observed electrochemically driven single-molecule station changes within bistable rotaxane molecules anchored laterally on gold surfaces. These observations were achieved by employing molecular designs that significantly reduced the mobility and enhanced the assembly of molecules in orientations conducive to direct measurement using scanning tunneling microscopy. The results reveal molecular-level details of the station changes of surface-bound bistable rotaxane molecules, correlated with their different redox states. The mechanical motions within these mechanically interlocked molecules are influenced by their interactions with the surface and with neighboring molecules, as well as by the conformations of the dumbbell component.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3697-3701
Number of pages5
JournalACS nano
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 27 2010


  • bistable rotaxanes
  • electrochemistry
  • mechanically interlocked molecules
  • scanning tunneling microscopy
  • single-molecule motion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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