Controlling dynamics in extended molecular frameworks

Liang Feng*, R. Dean Astumian, J. Fraser Stoddart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Molecular machines are essential dynamic components for fuel production, cargo delivery, information storage and processing in living systems. Scientists have demonstrated that they can design and synthesize artificial molecular machines that operate efficiently in isolation — for example, at high dilution in solution — fuelled by chemicals, electricity or light. To organize the spatial arrangement and motion of these machines within close proximity to one another in solid frameworks, such that useful macroscopic work can be performed, remains a challenge in both chemical and materials science. In this Review, we summarize the progress that has been made during the past decade in organizing dynamic molecular entities in such solid frameworks. Emerging applications of these dynamic smart materials in the contexts of molecular recognition, optoelectronics, drug delivery, photodynamic therapy and water desalination are highlighted. Finally, we review recent work on a new non-equilibrium adsorption phenomenon for which we have coined the term mechanisorption. The ability to use external energy to drive directional processes in mechanized extended frameworks augurs well for the future development of artificial molecular factories. [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-725
Number of pages21
JournalNature Reviews Chemistry
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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