The Burgeoning of Mechanically Interlocked Molecules in Chemistry

Damien Sluysmans, J. Fraser Stoddart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs), such as rotaxanes, catenanes, and molecular knots, have attracted significant interest because of their unique properties originating from their mechanically bonded components. Recently, MIMs have been employed in increasingly diverse architectures thanks to the tools of rational molecular design and the ability to incorporate functions in a precise manner. Here, we discuss advances in MIM synthesis, the fundamental understanding of their working processes, and applications exploiting their singular behavior. This review covers some of the most recent studies demonstrating the widespread interest in MIMs by scientists pursuing the ultimate goal of designing functional molecular machines that surpass their natural analogs or exhibit unprecedented properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-197
Number of pages13
JournalTrends in Chemistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2019


  • MIMs
  • catenanes
  • mechanically interlocked molecules
  • molecular knots
  • molecular machines
  • rotaxanes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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