Spacer Length-Independent Shuttling of the Pillararene Ring in Neutral Rotaxanes.
ABSTRACT: For a series of neutral rotaxanes consisting of a pillararene ring and axles possessing two stations separated by flexible spacers of different lengths, the free energies of activation for the ring shuttling between the stations were found to be independent of the spacer length. The constitution of the spacer affects the activation energies: replacement of CH2 groups by repulsive oxygen atoms in the axle increases the barrier. The explanation for the observed length-independence lies in the presence of a barrier for re-forming the stable co-conformation, which makes the ring travel back and forth along the thread in an intermediate state.
Project description:We report the stepwise assembly of supramolecular daisy chain rotaxanes (DCR) made of double-stranded DNA: Small dsDNA macrocycles bearing an axle assemble into a pseudo-DCR precursor that was connected to rigid DNA stoppers to form DCR with the macrocycles hybridized to the axles. In presence of release oligodeoxynucleotides (rODNs), the macrocycles are released from their respective hybridization sites on the axles, leading to stable mechanically interlocked DCRs. Besides the expected threaded DCRs, certain amounts of externally hybridized structures were observed, which dissociate into dumbbell structures in presence of rODNs. We show that the genuine DCRs have significantly higher degrees of freedom in their movement along the thread axle than the hybridized DCR precursors. Interlocking of DNA in DCRs might serve as a versatile principle for constructing functional DNA nanostructures where the movement of the subunits is restricted within precisely confined tolerance ranges.
Project description:The relation between the chemical structure and the mechanical behavior of molecular machines is of paramount importance for a rational design of superior nanomachines. Here, we report on a mechanistic study of a nanometer scale translational movement in two bistable rotaxanes. Both rotaxanes consist of a tetra-amide macrocycle interlocked onto a polyether axle. The macrocycle can shuttle between an initial succinamide station and a 3,6-dihydroxy- or 3,6-di-tert-butyl-1,8-naphthalimide end stations. Translocation of the macrocycle is controlled by a hydrogen-bonding equilibrium between the stations. The equilibrium can be perturbed photochemically by either intermolecular proton or electron transfer depending on the system. To the best of our knowledge, utilization of proton transfer from a conventional photoacid for the operation of a molecular machine is demonstrated for the first time. The shuttling dynamics are monitored by means of UV-vis and IR transient absorption spectroscopies. The polyether axle accelerates the shuttling by ?70% compared to a structurally similar rotaxane with an all-alkane thread of the same length. The acceleration is attributed to a decrease in activation energy due to an early transition state where the macrocycle partially hydrogen bonds to the ether group of the axle. The dihydroxyrotaxane exhibits the fastest shuttling speed over a nanometer distance (?shuttling ? 30 ns) reported to date. The shuttling in this case is proposed to take place via a so-called harpooning mechanism where the transition state involves a folded conformation due to the hydrogen-bonding interactions with the hydroxyl groups of the end station.
Project description:This study investigates the effect of substitution with different functional groups and of molecular flexibility by changing within the axle from a single C-C bond to a double C=C bond. Therefore, we present static quantum chemical calculations at the dispersion-corrected density functional level (DFT-D3) for several Leigh-type rotaxanes. The calculated crystal structure is in close agreement with the experimental X-ray data. Compared to a stiffer axle, a more flexible one results in a stronger binding by 1-3 kcal/mol. Alterations of the binding energy in the range of 5 kcal/mol could be achieved by substitution with different functional groups. The hydrogen bond geometry between the isophtalic unit and the carbonyl oxygen atoms of the axle exhibited distances in the range of 2.1 to 2.4 Å for six contact points, which shows that not solely but to a large amount the circumstances in the investigated rotaxanes are governed by hydrogen bonding. Moreover, the complex with the more flexible axle is usually more unsymmetrical than the one with the stiff axle. The opposite is observed for the experimentally investigated axle with the four phenyl stoppers. Furthermore, we considered an implicit continuum solvation model and found that the complex binding is weakened by approximately 10 kcal/mol, and hydrogen bonds are slightly shortened (by up to 0.2 Å).
Project description:Quantum information processing (QIP) would require that the individual units involved--qubits--communicate to other qubits while retaining their identity. In many ways this resembles the way supramolecular chemistry brings together individual molecules into interlocked structures, where the assembly has one identity but where the individual components are still recognizable. Here a fully modular supramolecular strategy has been to link hybrid organic-inorganic - and -rotaxanes into still larger -, - and -rotaxanes. The ring components are heterometallic octanuclear [Cr7NiF8(O2C(t)Bu)16](-) coordination cages and the thread components template the formation of the ring about the organic axle, and are further functionalized to act as a ligand, which leads to large supramolecular arrays of these heterometallic rings. As the rings have been proposed as qubits for QIP, the strategy provides a possible route towards scalable molecular electron spin devices for QIP. Double electron-electron resonance experiments demonstrate inter-qubit interactions suitable for mediating two-qubit quantum logic gates.
Project description:Active metal template Glaser coupling has been used to synthesize a series of rotaxanes consisting of a polyyne, with up to 24 contiguous sp-hybridized carbon atoms, threaded through a variety of macrocycles. Cadiot-Chodkiewicz cross-coupling affords higher yields of rotaxanes than homocoupling. This methodology has been used to prepare rotaxanes with two polyyne chains locked through the same macrocycle. The crystal structure of one of these rotaxanes shows that there is extremely close contact between the central carbon atoms of the threaded hexayne chains (C···C distance 3.29 Å vs 3.4 Å for the sum of van der Waals radii) and that the bond-length-alternation is perturbed in the vicinity of this contact. However, despite the close interaction between the hexayne chains, the rotaxane is remarkably stable under ambient conditions, probably because the two polyynes adopt a crossed geometry. In the solid state, the angle between the two polyyne chains is 74°, and this crossed geometry appears to be dictated by the bulk of the "supertrityl" end groups. Several rotaxanes have been synthesized to explore gem-dibromoethene moieties as "masked" polyynes. However, the reductive Fritsch-Buttenberg-Wiechell rearrangement to form the desired polyyne rotaxanes has not yet been achieved. X-ray crystallographic analysis on six rotaxanes and two rotaxanes provides insight into the noncovalent interactions in these systems. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) reveals that the longer polyyne rotaxanes (C16, C18, and C24) decompose at higher temperatures than the corresponding unthreaded polyyne axles. The stability enhancement increases as the polyyne becomes longer, reaching 60 °C in the C24 rotaxane.
Project description:We report the preparation of rotaxanes containing an electrochemically and optically active osmium(II) bipyridyl macrocyclic component mechanically bonded with cationic pyridinium axles. Such interlocked host systems are demonstrated to recognise and sense anionic guest species as shown by (1)H NMR, luminescence and electrochemical studies. The rotaxanes can be surface assembled on to gold electrodes through anion templation under click copper(I)-catalysed Huisgen cycloaddition conditions to form rotaxane molecular films, which, after template removal, respond electrochemically and selectively to chloride.
Project description:Switchable crown ether-ammonium rotaxanes with a redox-active tetrathiafulvalene (TTF) unit implemented in their wheels were synthesised and fully characterised. Reversible operation in two modes is possible, in which the rotaxane's axle is either charged or neutral. Cyclic voltammetry experiments reveal the effects of mechanical bonding on the electrochemical properties of TTF and show the rotaxanes to perform a distinct function in both modes. In the charged mode, redox-switching is dominated by strong electrostatic repulsion in the rotaxane which subsequently leads to a macrocycle translation along the axle. In the non-charged mode, a selective energetic stabilisation of TTF radical cations is observed, which can be attributed to an interplay of weak electrostatic interactions between wheel and axle.
Project description:Some examples of atropoisomeric pseudorotaxanes in which the isomerism arises by the different conformations adopted by the wheel are reported here. Upon threading hexahexyloxycalixarene 1 with ammonium axles 2+ or 3+ , bearing biphenyl or trifluoromethylbenzyl moieties, respectively, two atropoisomeric pseudorotaxanes were formed in which the calix-wheel 1 adopts the 1,2,3-alternate and cone conformations. The interconversion between them cannot be obtained by simple rotation around the ArCH2Ar bonds of the calixarene wheel, which is blocked by the presence of the axle inside its cavity. Therefore, it can only be obtained through a mechanism of de-threading/re-threading of the axle. In all the examined cases, the 1,2,3-alternate and cone atropoisomers are, respectively, the kinetic and the thermodynamic ones.
Project description:Rotaxanes are unique mechanical devices that hold great promise as sensors. We report on two new rotaxanes that contain an acid or base sensitive trigger and readily disassemble in a wide range of environments. Disassemblage was observed under TLC and ¹H-NMR analysis. The axle is highly charged, which enhances solubility in aqueous environments, and can be readily derivatized with sensor components. The trigger was swapped in a one-pot method, which is promising for the rapid production of a series of sensors.
Project description:We present the synthesis of novel rotaxanes based on mechanically interlocked porphyrins and fullerene and their advanced investigations by means of photophysical measurements. To this end, a fullerene-capped dumbbell-type axle containing a central triazole was threaded through strapped (metallo)porphyrins-either a free-base or a zinc porphyrin. Femtosecond-resolved transient absorption measurements revealed charge-separation between the porphyrin and fullerene upon light excitation. Solvent polarity and solvent coordination effects induced molecular motion of the rotaxanes upon charge separation and enabled, for the first time, subtle control over the charge recombination by enabling and controlling the directionality of shuttling.