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Towards the control of molecular-level machines operation through encapsulation in zeolites and mesoporous aluminosilicates.


The main objective of the project deals with the encapsulation of supramolecular level devices and machines, such as rotaxanes and [2]-catenanes, within the rigid internal voids of zeolites and mesoporous aluminosilicates. The resulting materials comprising an encapsulated molecular device could serve as a basis for the future Nanotechnology: the development of mechanoelectrical and photochemical communication systems and devices capable of storing and processing information. One of the common actions of these molecular devices is based on the occurrence of an elementary step of charge or electron transfer. The problem for the operation of the device is that back electron transfer is very fast in solution, taking place in the picoseconds time scale, and being too short for any nuclear movement to occur. It is well known the potential of zeolites as a medium to stabilize short-lived transients and to compartmentalize the entrapped molecules within their rigid voids. It is the purpose of this project to show that encapsulation of molecular level machines can contribute positively to the operation of these supramolecular devices. This benefit would derive from the increase in the lifetime of charge-separated states.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


Via Francesco Selmi 2
40126 Bologna