A push-button molecular switch

Jason M. Spruell, Walter F. Paxton, John Carl Olsen, Diego Benítez, Ekaterina Tkatchouk, Charlotte L. Stern, Ali Trabolsi, Douglas C. Friedman, William A. Goddard, J. Fraser Stoddart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The preparation, characterization, and switching mechanism of a unique single-station mechanically switchable hetero[2]catenane are reported. The facile synthesis utilizing a "threading-followed-by-clipping" protocol features Cu2+-catalyzed Eglinton coupling as a mild and efficient route to the tetrathiafulvalene-based catenane in high yield. The resulting mechanically interlocked molecule operates as a perfect molecular switch, most readily described as a "push-button" switch, whereby two discrete and fully occupied translational states are toggled electrochemically at incredibly high rates. This mechanical switching was probed using a wide variety of experimental techniques as well as quantum-mechanical investigations. The fundamental distinctions between this single-station [2]catenane and other more traditional bi- and multistation molecular switches are significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11571-11580
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number32
StatePublished - Aug 19 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


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