6 research outputs found

    Exploring molecular motors

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    The introduction of mechanical functions and controlled motion based on molecular motors and machines offers tremendous opportunities towards the design of dynamic molecular systems and responsive materials. In this brief perspective the focus is on the exploration of rotary molecular motors discussing basic principles and showing illustrative applications in functional materials. Furthermore, major challenges to bring dynamic properties to more complex molecular systems, ranging from transmission, amplification and synchronization to biocompatibility and autonomous behavior, are discussed

    Structural Dynamics of Overcrowded Alkene-Based Molecular Motors during Thermal Isomerization

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    Synthetic light-driven rotary molecular motors show complicated structural dynamics during the rotation process. A combination of DFT calculations and various spectroscopic techniques is employed to study the effect of the bridging group in the lower half of the molecule on the conformational dynamics. It was found that the extent to which the bridging group can accommodate the increased folding in the transition state is the main factor in rationalizing the differences in barrier height and, as a consequence, the rotary speed. These findings will be essential in designing future rotary molecular motors.

    Platinum(II) Complexes of Tridentate ‐Coordinating Ligands Based on Imides, Amides, and Hydrazides: Synthesis and Luminescence Properties

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    Five Pt(II) complexes are described in which the metal ion is bound to anionic urn:x-wiley:14341948:media:ejic202000879:ejic202000879-math-0003 ‐coordinating ligands. The central, deprotonated N atom is derived from an imide Ar−C(=O)−NH−C(=O)−Ar {PtL1–2Cl; Ar=pyridine or pyrimidine}, an amide py−C(=O)−NH−CH2−py {PtL3Cl}, or a hydrazide py−C(=O)−NH−N=CH−py {PtL4Cl}. The imide complexes PtL1–2Cl show no significant emission in solution but are modestly bright green/yellow phosphors in the solid state. PtL3Cl is weakly phosphorescent. PtL4Cl is formed as a mixture of isomers, bound through either the amido or imino nitrogen, the latter converting to the former upon absorption of light. Remarkably, the imino form displays fluorescence in solution, λ0,0=535 nm, whereas the amido shows phosphorescence, λ0,0=624 nm, τ=440 ns. It is highly unusual for two isomeric compounds to display emission from states of different spin multiplicity. The amido‐bound PtL4Cl can act as a bidentate urn:x-wiley:14341948:media:ejic202000879:ejic202000879-math-0004 ‐coordinating ligand, demonstrated by the formation of bimetallic complexes with iridium(III) or ruthenium(II)

    Understanding the Dynamics Behind the Photoisomerization of a Light-Driven Fluorene Molecular Rotary Motor

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    Light-driven molecular rotary motors derived from chiral overcrowded alkenes represent a broad class of compounds for which photochemical rearrangements lead to large scale motion of one part of the molecule with respect to another. It is this motion/change in molecular shape that is employed in many of their applications. A key group in this class are the molecular rotary motors that undergo unidirectional light-driven rotation about a double bond through a series of photochemical and thermal steps. In the present contribution we report a combined quantum chemical and molecular dynamics study of the mechanism of the rotational cycle of the fluorene-based molecular rotary motor 9-(2,4,7-trimethyl-2,3-dihydro-1H-inden-1-ylidene)-9H-fluorene (1). The potential energy surfaces of the ground and excited singlet states of 1 were calculated, and it was found that conical intersections play a central role in the mechanism of photo conversion between the stable conformer of 1 and its metastable conformer. Molecular dynamics simulations indicate that the average lifetime of the fluorene motor in the excited state is 1.40 ± 0.10 ps when starting from the stable conformer, which increases to 1.77 ± 0.13 ps for the reverse photoisomerization. These simulations indicate that the quantum yield of photoisomerization of the stable conformer is 0.92, whereas it is only 0.40 for the reverse photoisomerization. For the first time, a theoretical understanding of the experimentally observed photostationary state of 1 is reported that provides a detailed picture of the photoisomerization dynamics in overcrowded alkene-based molecular motor 1. The analysis of the electronic structure of the fluorene molecular motor holds considerable implications for the design of molecular motors. Importantly, the role of pyramidalization and conical intersections offer new insight into the factors that dominate the photostationary state achieved in these systems.

    Control of Surface Wettability Using Tripodal Light-Activated Molecular Motors

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    Monolayers of fluorinated light-driven molecular motors were synthesized and immobilized on gold films in an altitudinal orientation via tripodal stators. In this design the functionalized molecular motors are not interfering and preserve their rotary function on gold. The wettability of the self-assembled monolayers can be modulated by UV irradiation.

    Driving a Third Generation Molecular Motor with Electrons Across a Surface

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    Excitation of single molecules with electrons tunneling between a sharp metallic tip of a scanning tunneling microscope and a metal surface is one way to study and control dynamics of molecules on surfaces. Electron tunneling induced dynamics may lead to hopping, rotation, molecular switching, or chemical reactions. Molecular motors that convert rotation of subgroups into lateral movement on a surface can in principle also be driven by tunneling electrons. For such surface-bound motor molecules the efficiency of motor action with respect to electron dose is still not known. Here, the response of a molecular motor containing two rotor units in the form of overcrowded alkene groups to inelastic electron tunneling has been examined on a Cu(111) surface in ultrahigh vacuum at 5 K. Upon vibrational excitation, switching between different molecular conformations is observed, including conversion of enantiomeric states of chiral conformations. Tunneling at energies in the range of electronic excitations causes activation of motor action and movement across the surface. The expected unidirectional rotation of the two rotor units causes forward movements but with a low degree of translational directionality