The past quarter of a century has witnessed an increasing engagement on the part of physicists and chemists in the design and synthesis of molecular machines de novo. This minireview traces the development of artificial molecular machines from their prototypes in the form of shuttles and switches to their emergence as motors and pumps where supplies of energy in the form of chemical fuel, electrochemical potential and light activation become a minimum requirement for them to function away from equilibrium. The challenge facing this rapidly growing community of scientists and engineers today is one of putting wholly synthetic molecules to work, both individually and as collections. Here, we highlight some of the recent conceptual and practical advances relating to the operation of wholly synthetic rotary and linear motors.
- dissipative systems
- molecular machines
- molecular motors
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry