Electrochemically switchable rotaxanes: recent strides in new directions
Are they still electrifying? Electrochemically switchable rotaxanes are well known for their ability to efficiently undergo changes of (co-)conformation and properties under redox-control. Thus, these mechanically interlocked assemblies represent an auspicious liaison between the fields of molecular switches and molecular electronics. Since the first reported example of a redox-switchable molecular shuttle in 1994, improved tools of organic and supramolecular synthesis have enabled sophisticated new architectures, which provide precise control over properties and function. This perspective covers recent advances in the area of electrochemically active rotaxanes including novel molecular switches and machines, metal-containing rotaxanes, non-equilibrium systems and potential applications.