Crystalline molecular machines: function, phase order, dimensionality, and composition
The design of molecular machines is stimulated by the possibility of developing new materials with complex physicochemical and mechanical properties that are responsive to external stimuli. Condensed-phase matter with anisotropic molecular order and controlled dynamics, also defined as amphidynamic crystals, offers a promising platform for the design of bulk materials capable of performing such functions. Recent studies have shown that it is possible to engineer molecular crystals and extended solids with Brownian rotation about specific axes that can be interfaced with external fields, which may ultimately be used to design novel optoelectronic materials. Structure/function relationships of amphidynamic materials have been characterized, establishing the blueprints to further engineer sophisticated function. However, the synthesis of amphidynamic molecular machines composed of multiple “parts” is essential to realize increasingly complex behavior. Recent progress in amphidynamic multicomponent systems suggests that sophisticated functions similar to those of simple biomolecular machines may eventually be within reach.