Functional interlocked systems
With the advent of supramolecular chemistry and later nanotechnology a great deal of research has been focused on new types of molecular structures, which are not held together by covalent bonds but by non-covalent mechanical interactions. Examples include the catenane, rotaxane, and knot interlocked structures. The design and synthesis of these architectures is an art by itself and as such is worth being reviewed. In this tutorial review we will focus, however, on the functional aspects of interlocked molecules and discuss how these can find applications, e.g. as artificial muscles, as molecular valves, as components of electronic devices, and as catalysts.