Simplicity in the Design, Operation, and Applications of Mechanically Interlocked Molecular Machines

Andrew W. Heard, Stephen M. Goldup*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanically interlocked molecules are perhaps best known as components of molecular machines, a view further reinforced by the Nobel Prize in 2016 to Stoddart and Sauvage. Despite amazing progress since these pioneers of the field reported the first examples of molecular shuttles, genuine applications of interlocked molecular machines remain elusive, and many barriers remain to be overcome before such molecular devices make the transition from impressive prototypes on the laboratory bench to useful products. Here, we discuss simplicity as a design principle that could be applied in the development of the next generation of molecular machines with a view to moving toward real-world applications of these intriguing systems in the longer term.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-128
Number of pages12
JournalACS Central Science
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 26 Feb 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.M.G. and A.W.H. thank the European Research Council (Consolidator Grant agreement 724987) and University of Southampton for funding. S.M.G. is a Royal Society Wolfson Research Fellow.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 American Chemical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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