Electron-triggered motions in technomimetic molecules†
Technomimetic molecules are molecules designed to imitate macroscopic objects at the molecular level, also transposing the motions that these objects are able to undergo. This article focuses on technomimetic molecules with motions triggered by electrons. The first part is devoted to our work in the field of molecular switches: after having demonstrated the possibility of controlling an intramolecular electron transfer by photoisomerisation, we are now trying to control the isomerisation, either by electrochemistry, or by embedding the photochromic compound in a self-assembled monolayer and testing the electrical conduction with a STM tip. In a second part, we present our strategy on controlling the rotation in a molecular rotary motor and the family of ruthenium complexes designed to perform such a task. The molecules have a piano-stool structure with a “stator” meant to be grafted on an oxide surface, and a “rotor” bearing redox-active groups, so that addressing the molecule with nano-electrodes would trigger rotation. The electrical control of the charge state of a molecule by a STM tip is developed in a final part.