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Hydrogen-bond geared Mechanically interlocked Molecular Motors

Final Report Summary - HY3M (Hydrogen-bond geared Mechanically interlocked Molecular Motors)

HY3M sought to create new types of synthetic molecular motors - fuelled by energy in the form of light, heat, electrons, etc. - that transmit the effects of mechanical motion from the molecular level through to the macroscopic world. To this purpose HY3M set out to:
(i) develop new methods and mechanisms for controlling sub-molecular translational and rotary motion through manipulation of hydrogen bonding interactions and
(ii) find out how to link such movements to the outside world in order to do useful work.
Primary objectives of the project were to 'design, synthesize, assemble, characterise and evaluate functional materials that act through mechanical motion at the molecular level'. With this objective we aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of exploiting molecular motion at the macroscopic level in general, using key strategic targets as particular examples.

Six work packages were aimed at obtaining an assessment of both the static and dynamic influences of mechanical interlocking at the molecular level, the ability to assemble the structures into films or polymers which must be engineered into a useful material, and an understanding of how key proximity effects could be 'designed in' to tailor specific properties. The knowledge generated from these work packages was employed to produce materials that exhibit various types of macroscopic responses from mechanical motion at the molecular level (surface-property change, shape-change, movement of object) as well as a synthetic molecular motor coupled to the outside world to do work.

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