Photo-driven molecular devices

Sourav Saha, J. Fraser Stoddart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

479 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 - Jan 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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