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Multisite transition metal complexes - a new approach towards bistable molecular devices


The prospect of using molecules or small assemblies of molecules as elements in electronic devices establishes an exciting challenge for chemists. Bistable systems are the key building blocks of all digital electronic devices, such as imaging and information storage. In this proposal we present a novel approach to a bistable molecular system based on threaded multisite transition metal complexes. Our approach utilizes a rotaxane-type assembly, consisting of a molecular thread with two different coordination sites bidentate and tridentate , and a coordinating ring. The ring contains a bidentate coordination side, while its location on the thread can be electrochemically triggered through the oxidation state of the transition metal ion. Translation of the ring between the two coordination sites is controlled through a switchable gate, triggered by a second external signal. A system which contains the above described structural features can then be devised to undergo a cyclic series of transformations, establishing the requirements for a bistable molecular device. We anticipate that this new principle will open appealing perspectives for the design of molecular-based memories and devices.


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