Mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs) are permanently entangled molecular architectures that have captivated the interest of chemists within the intersecting fields of supramolecular chemistry, mechanochemistry and chemical topology. Mechanical bonds and interlocked structures are ubiquitous both in nature and in the macroscopic world. Prototypical examples of artificial systems are rotaxanes, catenanes and knots, as well as their higher-order and polymeric analogues. The design and construction of entangled systems at the molecular level constitutes a formidable challenge from a synthetic point of view, and the resulting architectures and mechanical bonds bring about many complex phenomena and emergent properties. Prominent examples include molecular machines and motors based on interlocked structures, wherein the precise control of the relative motion of the molecular components is enabled by the trade-off between spatial confinement and freedom of movement. This Collection will focus on:
1. Synthetic methods: We're interested in showcasing synthetic advances towards MIMs, including both new methods and the development of contemporaneous methods, particularly for the preparation of intriguing architectures. We welcome insights into the shift from traditional methods to precise template-driven techniques, especially those highlighting self-assembly and molecular recognition.
2. Modelling and characterization: We welcome theoretical studies on MIMs, as well as those focused on challenges and strategies for the characterization of interlocked molecules.
3. Applications and function: We aim to present work showing the diverse functions of MIMs. Contributions that highlight their use in areas such as nanotechnology, materials science, and medicine are particularly encouraged.
4. Current trends: We invite articles that address the role of MIMs in creating artificial molecular machines and motors, advanced stimuli-responsive systems, catalysts, and chiral architectures.
5. Looking ahead: Reviews and Perspectives on recent discoveries, current challenges, and the future potential of MIMs will also be considered.
This Collection welcomes submissions from all authors – and not by invitation only – on the condition that the manuscripts fall within the scope of the Collection and of Communications Chemistry more generally. Papers will be published in Communications Chemistry as soon as they are accepted and collected together and promoted on the Collection homepage.
All submissions are subject to the same peer review process and editorial standards as regular Communications Chemistry articles.
The team of Editors working on this Collection is:
Guest Editor Prof Jose Berna, Universidad de Murcia, ES
Guest Editor Prof Serena Silvi, Università di Bologna, IT
Guest Editor Dr Fredrik Schaufelberger, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, SE
Chief Editor Dr Victoria Richards, Communications Chemistry, UK