Influencing intramolecular motion with an alternating electric field
UNSPECIFIED. (2000) Influencing intramolecular motion with an alternating electric field. Nature, 406 (6796). pp. 608-611. ISSN 0028-0836Full text not available from this repository.
Analogues of mechanical devices that operate on the molecular level(1-5), such as shuttles(6-10), brakes(11), ratchets(12,13), turnstiles(14) and unidirectional spinning motors(15,16), are current targets of both synthetic chemistry and nanotechnology. These structures are designed to restrict the degrees of freedom of submolecular components such that they can only move with respect to each other in a predetermined manner, ideally under the influence of some external stimuli. Alternating-current (a.c.) electric fields are commonly used to probe electronic structure, but can also change the orientation of molecules(17-19) (a phenomenon exploited in liquid crystal displays), or interact with large-scale molecular motions, such as the backbone fluctuations of semi-rigid polymers(20,21). Here we show that modest a.c. fields can be used to monitor and influence the relative motion within certain rotaxanes(22), molecules comprising a ring that rotates around a linear 'thread' carrying bulky 'stoppers' at each end. We observe strong birefringence at frequencies that correspond to the rate at which the molecular ring pirouettes about the thread, with the frequency of maximum birefringence, and by inference also the rate of ring pirouetting giving rise to it, changing as the electric field strength is varied. Computer simulations and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy show the ring rotation to be the only dynamic process occurring on a timescale corresponding to the frequency of maximum birefringence, thus confirming that mechanical motion within the rotaxanes can be addressed, and to some extent controlled, by oscillating electric fields.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Nature|
|Publisher:||MACMILLAN PUBLISHERS LTD|
|Date:||10 August 2000|
|Number of Pages:||5|
|Page Range:||pp. 608-611|
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