Bigger, better, faster: Molecular shuttles with sterically non-hindering biisoquinoline chelates

Fabien Durola, Jacques Lux, Jean Pierre Sauvage, Oliver S. Wenger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In the past, a variety of mechanically interlocked systems such as catenanes and rotaxanes were constructed on the basis of Cu(I) coordination chemistry and endocyclic 1,10-phenanthroline ligands. This review reports on the coordination chemistry of a new family of endocyclic bidentate chelators that are sterically non-hindering, namely 8,8′-diaryl-substituted 3,3′-biisoquinolines. These ligands allow the construction of new multi-component assemblies that are inaccessible with the previously investigated 1,10-phenanthrolines. On the one hand, the sterically non-hindering nature of the new endocyclic chelators makes three-component entanglements around octahedral metal centres such as iron(II), cobalt(II) and ruthenium(II) readily possible. On the other hand, it permits the construction of copper-based molecular shuttles that exhibit shuttling kinetics that excels over those of previously investigated analogous systems with 1,10-phenanthrolines. Thus, within this class of molecular machines, a bigger chelator leads to faster molecular movement, i.e. to a better performance of the molecular machine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)42-52
Number of pages11
JournalSupramolecular Chemistry
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • biisoquinoline
  • chelates
  • copper
  • molecular shuttles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)

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