A high-speed network of nanoswitches for on/off control of catalysis
NetState I of the communication-catalysis protocol is defined by a 1 : 1 mixture of the nanoswitches [Cu(1)]+ and 2. Upon one-electron oxidation at the ferrocenyl unit of the switch [Cu(1)]+, copper(I) ions are released that after translocation toggle nanoswitch 2 → [Cu(2)]+ (NetState II) within 4 min. NetState I was fully reset within 1 min by reduction of 1+ → 1. Running this redox-triggered switching protocol in the presence of 4-nitrobenzaldehyde, diethyl malonate and piperidine (catalyst) allows toggling of a catalyzed Knoevenagel addition from ON to OFF and back to ON.