A review entitled Chiroptical Properties of Mechanically Interlocked Molecules has been published in the Israel Journal of Chemistry for a special edition on “stereochemistry and crystals” to celebrate the winning of the 2021 Wolf Prize in Chemistry by Meir Lahav and Leslie Leiserowitz.
Catenanes, knots, and rotaxanes are molecules possessing mechanical bonds and are classified as mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs). The establishment of this bond creates the possibility to go beyond traditional covalent stereogenic centers and observe topological chirality, as well as mechanically axial, helical and planar chiral compounds. Thus, numerous chiral MIMs displaying covalent, mechanical or topological stereogenic centers have been built and investigated, offering multiple applications: sensing, catalysis, etc.
In the past three decades, there has been a growing number of synthetic approaches to build chiral MIMs. It is, therefore, essential to investigate their chiroptical properties in order to characterize and understand these exotic molecules. In this review, we summarized the electronic and vibrational circular dichroism of chiral MIMs, which are valuable techniques to visualize the structures of these compounds and determine their absolute configurations. Furthermore, we discuss the circularly polarized luminescence properties of MIMs, which are scarce to date, however their efficiency is excellent and opens up the possibility to build smart functional materials.
The review was written collaboratively by Arthur David and Fraser Stoddart. Arthur is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Group, working on different types of luminescent boxes, catenanes and pumps.
Congratulations to Arthur!
Pictured below – Arthur David alongside the Graphical Abstract for his review “Chiroptical Properties of Mechanically Interlocked Molecules”: