Wholly Synthetic Molecular Machines

Chuyang Cheng, J. Fraser Stoddart*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

94 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1780-1793
Number of pages14
StatePublished - Jun 17 2016


  • dissipative systems
  • mechanostereochemistry
  • molecular machines
  • molecular motors
  • rotaxanes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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