The evolution of molecular machines through interfacial nanoarchitectonics: from toys to tools
Molecular machines are often regarded as molecular artworks and sometimes as fancy molecular toys. However, many researchers strive to operate molecular machines as useful tools for realistic practical applications. In this perspective article, shifting the working environment of molecular machines from solution to interfacial media is discussed from the viewpoint of their evolution from scientific toys to useful tools. Following a short description of traditional research into molecular machines in solution and their nanotechnological manipulation on clean solid surfaces, pioneering research into molecular machine operation at dynamic interfaces, such as liquid surfaces, is discussed, along with cutting-edge research into molecular machine functions in living cells and their models. Biomolecular machines within organisms are the products of evolution over billions of years. We may nanoarchitect such sophisticated functional systems with artificial molecular machines within much shorter periods.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Celebrating 10 years of Chemical Science