Mechanically interlocked molecules in metal–organic frameworks
Mechanically interlocked molecules (MIMs) have great potential in the development of molecular machinery due to their intercomponent dynamics. The incorporation of these molecules in a condensed phase makes it possible to take advantage of the control of the motion of the components at the macroscopic level. Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) are postulated as ideal supports for intertwined molecules. This review covers the chemistry of the mechanical bond incorporated into metal–organic frameworks from the seminal studies to the latest published advances. We first describe some fundamental concepts of MIMs and MOFs. Next, we summarize the advances in the incorporation of rotaxanes and catenanes inside MOF matrices. Finally, we conclude by showing the study of the rotaxane dynamics in MOFs and the operation of some stimuli-responsive MIMs within MOFs. In addition to emphasising some selected examples, we offer a critical opinion on the state of the art of this research field, remarking the key points on which the future of these systems should be focused.