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| Authors||P. Bodis, S. Yeremenko, J. Berna, W.J. Buma, D.A. Leigh, S. Woutersen|
|Title||Bimodal dynamics of mechanically constrained hydrogen bonds revealed by vibrational photon echoes|
|Journal||The Journal of Chemical Physics|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Institute/dept.||FNWI: Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)|
|Abstract||We have investigated the dynamics of the hydrogen bonds that connect the components of a rotaxane in solution. In this rotaxane, the amide groups in the benzylic-amide macrocycle and the succinamide thread are connected by four equivalent N−H⋅⋅⋅O=C hydrogen bonds. The fluctuations of these hydrogen bonds are mirrored by the frequency fluctuations of the NH-stretch modes, which are probed by means of three-pulse photon-echo peak shift spectroscopy. The hydrogen-bond fluctuations occur on three different time scales, with time constants of 0.1, 0.6, and >=200 ps. Comparing these three time scales to the ones found in liquid formamide, which contains the same hydrogen-bonded amide motif but without mechanical constraints, we find that the faster two components, which are associated with small-amplitude fluctuations in the strength of the N−H⋅⋅⋅O=C hydrogen bonds, are very similar in the liquid and the rotaxane. However, the third component, which is associated with the breaking and subsequent reformation of hydrogen bonds, is found to be much slower in the rotaxane than in the liquid. It can be concluded that the mechanical bonding in a rotaxane does not influence the amplitude and time scale of the small-amplitude fluctuations of the hydrogen bonds, but strongly slows down the complete dissociation of these hydrogen bonds. This is probably because in a rotaxane breaking of the macrocycle–axle contacts is severely hindered by the mechanical constraints. The hydrogen-bond dynamics in rotaxane-based molecular machines can therefore be regarded as liquidlike on a time scale 1 ps and less, but structurally frozen on longer (up to at least 200 ps) time scales.|
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