Chemically Driven Rotatory Molecular Machines

Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 2022 Oct 4;61(40):e202206631. doi: 10.1002/anie.202206631. Epub 2022 Sep 5.


Molecular machines are at the frontier of biology and chemistry. The ability to control molecular motion and emulating the movement of biological systems are major steps towards the development of responsive and adaptive materials. Amazing progress has been seen for the design of molecular machines including light-induced unidirectional rotation of overcrowded alkenes. However, the feasibility of inducing unidirectional rotation about a single bond as a result of chemical conversion has been a challenging task. In this Review, an overview of approaches towards the design, synthesis, and dynamic properties of different classes of atropisomers which can undergo controlled switching or rotation under the influence of a chemical stimulus is presented. They are categorized as molecular switches, rotors, motors, and autonomous motors according to their type of response. Furthermore, we provide a future perspective and challenges focusing on building sophisticated molecular machines.

Keywords: Chemically Driven Molecular Machines; Molecular Motors; Molecular Rotors; Molecular Switches.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alkenes* / chemistry
  • Rotation
  • Smart Materials*


  • Alkenes
  • Smart Materials