Molecular machines in biology and in chemistry

ESRF-ILL Joint Colloquia
Start Date
05-12-2018 10:30
End Date
05-12-2018 12:00
Auditorium, Central Building
Speaker's name
Jean Pierre Sauvage
Speaker's institute
Université de Strasbourg - Laureate of the Nobel Prize
Contact name
Fabienne Mengoni
Host name
Uli Koester (ILL) & Patrick Bruno (ESRF)
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The simplest catenane, a [1]catenane, is composed of two interlocking rings. Rotaxanes consist of rings threaded by acyclic fragments (axes). The simplest rotaxane, a [1]rotaxane, contains two non-covalently connected components : a ring and an axis, the axis being end-functionalised by bulky groups preventing unthreading of the non cyclic fragment from the cycle. Interlocking ring compounds have attracted much interest in the molecular sciences, first as pure synthetic challenges and, more recently, as components of functional materials. In particular, these compounds appear as perfect precursors to dynamic systems for which motions can be controlled in a precise manner. This property led to the use of catenanes and rotaxanes as molecular machine prototypes.

Subsequently, the research field of artificial molecular machines has experienced a spectacular development, in relation to molecular devices at the nanometric level or mimics of biological motors. In biology, motor proteins are of the utmost importance in a large variety of processes essential to life (ATPase, a rotary motor, or the myosin-actin complex of striated muscles behaving as a linear motor responsible for contraction or elongation). A few recent examples are based on simple or more complex rotaxanes or catenanes acting as switchable systems or molecular machines. Particularly significant examples include "molecular shuttles" as well as multi-rotaxanes reminiscent of muscles or able to act as molecular compressors or switchable receptors. The molecules are set in motion using electrochemical, photonic or chemical signals. Examples will be given which cover the various approaches used for triggering the molecular motions implied in various synthetic molecular machine prototypes. The work of various groups using non interlocking compounds will also be briefly discussed.

[1] J.-P. SAUVAGE, "From Chemical Topology to Molecular Machines", Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2017, 56, 11080.

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