A switchable palladium-complexed molecular shuttle and its metastable positional isomers

James D. Crowley, David A. Leigh*, Paul J. Lusby, Roy T. McBurney, Laure Emmanuelle Perret-Aebi, Christiane Petzold, Alexandra M Z Slawin, Mark D. Symes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


We report the design, synthesis, characterization, and operation of a [2]rotaxane in which a palladium-complexed macrocycle can be translocated between 4-dimethylaminopyridine and pyridine monodentate ligand sites via reversible protonation, the metal remaining coordinated to the macrocycle throughout. The substitution pattern of the ligands and the kinetic stability of the Pd-N bond means that changing the chemical state of the thread does not automatically cause a change in the macrocycle's position in the absence of an additional input (heat and/or coordinating solvent/anion). Accordingly, under ambient conditions any of the four sets of protonated and neutral, stable, and metastable co-conformers of the [2]rotaxane can be selected, manipulated, isolated, and characterized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15085-15090
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number48
Publication statusPublished - 5 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


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