A chemically powered unidirectional rotary molecular motor based on a palladium redox cycle

Beatrice S. L. Collins, Jos C. M. Kistemaker, Edwin Otten, Ben L. Feringa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

Abstract

The conversion of chemical energy to drive directional motion at the molecular level allows biological systems, ranging from subcellular components to whole organisms, to perform a myriad of dynamic functions and respond to changes in the environment. Directional movement has been demonstrated in artificial molecular systems, but the fundamental motif of unidirectional rotary motion along a single-bond rotary axle induced by metal-catalysed transformation of chemical fuels has not been realized, and the challenge is to couple the metal-centred redox processes to stepwise changes in conformation to arrive at a full unidirectional rotary cycle. Here, we present the design of an organopalladium-based motor and the experimental demonstration of a 360° unidirectional rotary cycle using simple chemical fuels. Exploiting fundamental reactivity principles in organometallic chemistry enables control of directional rotation and offers the potential of harnessing the wealth of opportunities offered by transition-metal-based catalytic conversions to drive motion and dynamic functions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)860-866
Number of pages7
JournalNature Chemistry
Volume8
Early online date6 Jun 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

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