Using individual molecules as conducting bridges for electrons offers opportunities when investigating quantum phenomena that are not readily accessible from experiments involving ensembles of molecules. The probing of single molecules has led, over the past few decades, to the rise of molecular electronics. Although single-supermolecule electronics is an emerging field, it is not yet a well-defined area of molecular electronics. There is little doubt, however, that single-supermolecule electronics is poised to have an impact on molecular electronics for the simple reason that noncovalent bonding interactions between molecular components in complexes have a profound effect on electron conductivities.
This Review article summarizes this emerging field from the standpoint of noncovalent bonding interactions in mechanically interlocked molecules, as well as in supermolecules, and discuss the (super)structure–property relationship of four different interactions associated with (supra)molecular junctions. They are host–guest interactions, hydrogen bonding, π–π interactions, and noncovalent bonding interactions present in mechanically interlocked molecules. The authors focus their attention on providing a supramolecular-level understanding of charge transport behavior associated with each interaction, as well as demonstrating the theoretical background and experimental readiness of single-supermolecule electronics for potential applications, such as nucleic acid and peptide sequencing, and the design and production of quantum interference devices, random-access memories and integrated devices.
The review was written collaboratively by Hongliang Chen and Fraser Stoddart. Hongliang was a former Postdoctoral Fellow in the Group. He has just started his independent academic career in China. He became an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Zhejiang University on June 1, 2021. His current research interests include single-supramolecular electronics and electron-catalyzed single-molecule reactions.
Congratulations to Hongliang!
Pictured below – The Graphical Abstract for Hongliang Chen’s publication From Molecular to Supramolecular Electronics: