Shapeshifting molecules: the story so far and the shape of things to come
Shapeshifting molecules exhibit rapid constitutional dynamics while remaining stable, isolable molecules, making them promising artificial scaffolds from which to explore complex biological systems and create new functional materials. However, their structural complexity presents challenges for designing their syntheses and understanding their equilibria. This minireview showcases (1) recent applications of highly dynamic shapeshifting molecules in sensing and distinguishing complex small molecules and (2) detailed insights into the adaptation of tractable bistable systems to changes in their local environment. The current status of this field is summarised and its future prospects are discussed.
- This article is part of the themed collection: The Mechanics of Supramolecular Chemistry