Photo-driven molecular devices

Sourav Saha, J. Fraser Stoddart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

494 Scopus citations


In this critical review, we discuss switching of the light-powered bistable rotaxanes and catenanes and highlight the practical applications of some of these systems. Photoactive molecular and supramolecular machines are comprised of two parts—1) a switching element, based on noncovalent interactions within the recognition units, which is responsible for executing mechanical movement, and 2) a light-harvesting unit which utilizes light to control the competitive interactions between the recognition sites. We also survey another class of molecular devices, namely molecular rotary motors—i.e., those that behave like their macroscopic counterparts—in which photochemically and thermally induced mechanical movement relies on isomerizations of a pivotal C=C bond, leading to a rotation of the top propeller part with respect to the stationary bottom part of the helical shaped chiral molecule. (146 references.).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-92
Number of pages16
JournalChemical Society Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 15 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Photo-driven molecular devices'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this