C.N. van Dijk
- Transient two-dimensional vibrational spectroscopy of an operating molecular machine
- Nature Communications
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- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS)
Synthetic molecular machines are promising building blocks for future nanoscopic devices. However, the details of their mechanical behaviour are in many cases still largely unknown. A deeper understanding of mechanics at the molecular level is essential for the design and construction of complex nanodevices. Here, we show that transient two-dimensional infrared (T2DIR) spectroscopy makes it possible to monitor the conformational changes of a translational molecular machine during its operation. Translation of a macrocyclic ring from one station to another on a molecular thread is initiated by a UV pulse. The arrival of the shuttling macrocycle at the final station is visible from a newly appearing cross peak between these two moieties. To eliminate spectral congestion in the T2DIR spectra, we use a subtraction method applicable to many other complex molecular systems. The T2DIR spectra indicate that the macrocycle adopts a boat-like conformation at the final station, which contrasts with the chair-like conformation at the initial station.
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